by Stephen Lendman
Ruling Alianza PAIS former vice president Lenin Moreno is vying with right-wing banker/businessman Guillermo Lasso to be Ecuador’s next president.
Moreno barely fell short of a 40% threshold to win in first round February 19 voting - 39.4% to Lasso’s 28.1%. Finishing third, conservative candidate Cynthia Viteri urged her supporters to back Lasso.
In round one voting, he complained about irregularities, providing no corroborating evidence. On Friday, he accused President Correa’s government of rigging Sunday’s election.
OAS Department for Electoral Cooperation and Observation director Gerardo de Icaza said his mission “has not observed evidence of fraud,” adding, “allegation(s) should be supported by evidence.”
He explained Ecuador’s National Electoral Council “has taken measures…to improve the process and make it more reliable and transparent.”
Scores of observers were invited to observe Sunday’s vote, a process praised for its transparency.
March 18 - 21 Cedatos polling, reported by Reuters
, showed Moreno ahead by a 52.4% to 47.6% margin, 16% undecided.
Final results are expected to be close. Both candidates have conflicting visions. Moreno pledged continued social justice, along with stimulating economic growth through private investments.
Lasso promised major tax cuts and privatizations, policies favoring business and Ecuador’s wealthy - at the expense of social justice.
His vow to create a million new jobs is phony. Tax cuts for business achieve none. Privatizations destroy them.
Jobs are created when ordinary people have more money and spend it. Fiscal stimulus helping them is what’s needed, not policies favoring privileged interests at their expense - Lasso’s agenda.
Concerned about losing based on late polling numbers, he again raised issues of fraud without proving any.
Whether he’ll provoke violence if defeated remains unknown. Much rides on Sunday’s outcome.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
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