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Perez calls for spoilt ballot in Ecuador after recount bid fails

DEFEATED Ecuadorian presidential candidate Yaku Perez lost his appeal for a recount of the first-round election results on Monday, leading to calls for the rightwinger’s supporters to spoil their ballots.

Indigenous group Conaie, of which Mr Perez Pachakutik party is the political arm, hit out after Ecuador’s National Electoral Council said that the challenge had no legal basis.

“We will remain firm in our vision of resistance and we will establish other mechanisms of struggle to bring forward the country’s popular and social demands,” a Conaie statement said.

Mr Perez had alleged that the February vote was marred by fraud. He finished third, behind Andes Arauz, who topped the poll, and banker Guillermo Lasso.

He sought a recount of some 20,000 tally sheets which he claimed contained inconsistencies and would lead to him replacing Mr Lasso in an April 11 run-off against the frontrunner.

Mr Perez has been touted as an alternative to Mr Arauz, a leftwinger and supporter of former president Rafael Correa. 

In reality, he is a Washington-backed rightwinger who has supported coups against the socialist governments of Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

The indigenous politician has previously supported Mr Lasso in elections and is desperate to stop Mr Arauz from winning the presidency.

Last week, Mr Perez demanded military intervention to stop the return of “Correismo” to Ecuador, saying: “The armed forces must intervene to give clarity to the elections.”

National Electoral Council vice-president Enrique Pita said that he doubted whether the call to spoil ballots would affect the result of the run-off.


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