Slightly less than two months remain before the General Election in Ecuador, which will take place on February 7, 2021. On this day, the Ecuadorians will elect a president, vice-president, members of the National Assembly and representatives of the Andean Community. How is the electoral “race” in Ecuador going? What difficulties did the candidates face?
The General Election in Ecuador is scheduled for February 7, 2021. On this day, the citizens of the Latin American country will have to elect for the period 2021-2025 the next constitutional president and vice president, as well as representatives to the unicameral parliament – the National Assembly, consisting of 137 members, divided into 12 commissions. Local media have already noted that the Ecuadorian electoral body – the National Electoral Council (Spanish – Consejo Nacional Electoral, CNE) will implement an innovative Electoral system for the transmission and publication of protocols and results (Spanish – Sistema Electoral de Transmisión y Publicación de Actas y Resultados, Setpar). According to the National Electoral Council, such a system will allow for the processing and publication of preliminary election results protocols in real time and online, as it includes procedure management, modern technological equipment, software and automated vote processing.
However, on December 8, the electoral and legal expert Mauro Andino Espinoza said on the air of the “teleSUR” channel that the results of the 2021 General Election in Ecuador are “under threat” due to the lack of guarantees of transparency in the work of the National Electoral Council. During his speech, the analyst argued that there is strong interference from other government agencies and political actors interested in a certain outcome of the election. In addition, Andino referred to the fact that a few days after the start of the election campaign (in mid-September), the electoral body created obstacles for the participation of the Correistas in the election “race”.
In October, the National Electoral Council removed from the lists four parties that can nominate themselves, one of them was the party of the ex-President of Ecuador Rafael Correa (Spanish – Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado). Using their “Union for Hope” (Spanish – Unión por la Esperanza) platform, the Correistas have formed an alliance with the “Democratic Centre” (Spanish – Centro Democrático, CD) movement to run for the presidency in 2021.
The “Union for Hope” candidate Andrés Arauz (Spanish – Andrés David Arauz Galarza) won the preliminary round and was nominated as a presidential candidate. Then the party decided to nominate two candidates for the post of vice-president – ex-leader Rafael Correa and Carlos Rabascall. The President of the National Electoral Council Diana Atamaint (Spanish – Shiram Diana Atamaint Wamputsar), pointed out that the electoral body would disqualify Correa from the ballot, and even suggested that the candidacy of Arauz was also illegal due to the fact that the former president became his a partner in a political tandem according to the electoral list.
On December 12, the head of the electoral body of Ecuador said that the final list of candidates for the General Election in Ecuador has not yet been approved until the end, despite the almost complete expiration of the deadline.
Atamaint stressed that the delay in the approval of the final ballot will affect not only the work of the electoral body, but also other state institutions associated with the electoral process. The Electoral Dispute Settlement Court (Spanish – Tribunal Contencioso Electoral, TCE) of Ecuador has not yet decided on the participation of candidates from the Correistas bloc due to the lack of a normative quorum at the previous sessions.
Today, the main contenders for the presidency of Ecuador are the representative of the “left” forces – Andres Arauz from the “Union for Hope” and the businessman, banker and politician of the “right” wing – Guillermo Lasso Mendoza (Spanish – Guillermo Alberto Santiago Lasso Mendoza) from Movement “Creating opportunities” (Spanish – Movimiento CREO). In 2017, Lasso ran for president. In the last General Election, the main thesis of his election campaign was the creation of 1 million jobs in Ecuador. Together with the current head of state, Lenin Moreno (Spanish – Lenin Boltaire Moreno Garcés), he entered the second round of the electoral process, in which he lost, gaining 49% of the votes.
In this electoral race, Guillermo Lasso is the consensus candidate for the “right-wing” forces. To date, the experts from the “Clima Social EC” research agency estimate the support for his candidacy in the first round at no more than 20%, while 23% of Ecuadorians are ready to vote for the candidacy of Andres Arauz. In addition, the respondents emphasized that Arauz is by far the most attractive candidate, but if the ruling bloc of Ecuador through the National Electoral Council succeeds in eliminating the Arauz-Rabascall tandem from the “Union for Hope”, the right-wing candidate will have better chances of victory.
It is worth noting that 16 tandems will take part in the General Election scheduled for February 7, 2021 for the posts of president and vice president. However, based on the results of public opinion polls in November, despite the large number of candidates, voting does not generate interest among 60% of respondents, reflecting the general mood of Ecuadorians. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador, the new head of state will take office on May 24, 2021.