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This Tuesday, the candidate of the indigenous political arm Pachakutik, Yaku Pérez, arrived in Quito after leading a march from the south of the country that lasted several days. After a peaceful mobilization in the Ecuadorian capital, Pérez presented 16,000 acts before the National Electoral Council (CNE) that, according to him, show inconsistencies.
The indigenous leader of Ecuador is not resigned. After leading a walk that lasted several days, Yaku Pérez arrived in Quito, the capital, to demand the recount of the votes before the National Electoral Council (CNE) this Tuesday. According to the politician and social leader, 16,000 records show inconsistencies, so the electoral body has the obligation to review them.
“We have accumulated more than 16,000 records of inconsistencies out of the 39,000 records, almost 50% of the records with inconsistencies, how is that?”, The presidential candidate asked himself upon arrival in Quito.
Pérez is not alone. Hundreds of indigenous people, who accompanied the leader in the march, share his cause under the slogan and battle cry: “We will not allow electoral fraud!” Like him, his followers believe that the “irregularities” in the vote counting took away their historic step to second in the February 7 elections.
Pérez ranked third in the February 7 election with 19.39% of the vote. Although at some point he had a slight advantage over the former right-wing banker, Guillermo Lasso, he ended up surpassing him with a narrow 19.74% of the ballots.
The difference, of only 32,600 votes, was what allowed Lasso to contest the April 11 ballot with the leftist Andrés Arauz, the dolphin of former president Rafael Correa and winner of the first round (32.72%).
The indigenous leader does not throw in the towel or give in to “theft of dreams”
Upon his arrival in Quito, his supporters were waiting for him in the central El Arbolito park, a very symbolic point, since it is where the social protests of October 2019 against the Government of Lenín Moreno took place.
The environmental activist demanded a partial recount of votes in 17 of the 24 provinces of Ecuador, where indigenous people represent 7% of the 17.4 million inhabitants. In response, the electoral authority opened a challenge phase after announcing last Sunday the results that excluded the indigenous leader from the second round.
“It is not a robbery only of Yaku Pérez. It is a robbery of hope, of a whole dream not only of the indigenous movement but also of environmentalists, workers, popular sectors that have the hope of a radical change alive,” Pérez told the AFP agency.
“I voted for Yaku, my vote is respected,” the followers chanted in unison, some of whom carried banners with the face of the indigenous leader or plurinational flags with their characteristic rainbow. During his speeches, Pérez insisted on his theory of electoral fraud.
Delivery of minutes to the CNE
Despite initial fears, the “March for Peace in Democracy” reached the electoral headquarters peacefully and without altercations with the police. Once there, the Pachakutik team was able to enter the CNE and deliver the aforementioned minutes.
The secretary general of the CNE, Santiago Vallejo, confirmed that the body had received the legal representative and the candidate of the indigenous organization, which presented “a right of objection”.
“A whole contingent operation has been arranged to receive all the corresponding documentation from the General Secretariat and, once we have received this information, it is up to the Plenary of the CNE to give the corresponding procedure within three days,” Vallejo said.
A little over 13 million Ecuadorians, some 410,000 of them abroad, were summoned to the February 7 elections to elect president, vice president, 137 members of the National Assembly and 5 of the Andean Parliament.
The combative character of the indigenous people in Ecuador is a historical factor. In October 2019, the anti-government protests ended with eleven dead and more than 1,300 injured. The country has also gone through popular uprisings that toppled three presidents between 1997 and 2005.
Now, the Ecuadorian followers of Yaku Pérez are mobilizing after becoming one of the main political forces in the next Congress, predictably highly fragmented, according to official projections.
With EFE, AFP and local media