WASHINGTON, USA – The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) congratulates the people of Ecuador for having expressed their will peacefully and for the massive participation in the second round of voting.
Within the framework of its electoral observation experience, the OAS recognizes that Ecuador has made a qualitative leap in the quality of its electoral processes. In the midst of the pandemic, Ecuadorian citizens have shown their maturity and their desire to face the future hand in hand with democracy.
The Mission congratulates the winning candidates, Guillermo Lasso and Alfredo Borrero, for having achieved their triumph at the polls and for their call for unity. Likewise, the Mission recognizes Andrés Arauz, candidate of the UNES Alliance, for having accepted that the results did not favor him and for his constructive message, as is appropriate in democracy.
In light of the messages from both pairs, the Mission trusts that new opportunities for dialogue will be generated in Ecuador due to the plurality of options for long-term consensus. The nature of a democratic regime implies the peaceful and constructive coexistence of different points of view.
The Mission congratulates the National Electoral Council (CNE) for the organization of an electoral process with a high degree of complexity in the midst of a health emergency, which implied great challenges of various kinds, and values its openness to consider and implement, fully or partially, a large part of the recommendations issued by the Mission in its preliminary report after the first round.
Among the changes observed are actions to streamline the flow of the voting process, including the entry of delegates from political organizations from the moment the voting tables are installed. In addition, numerous actions were observed that aimed to reduce the number of acts with inconsistencies: the preparation of step-by-step booklets, the verification of the draft acts by the table coordinators, and the reinforcement of the training sessions.
Finally, the Mission welcomes that for the second round the tally sheets were published in real-time, that the voting ballots were reviewed by the representatives of the two political organizations in contention, and that the official results were disseminated in an uninterrupted and timely manner, which gave certainty to both the candidates and the citizens.
The Mission, headed by the former vice president of Panama, Isabel de Saint Malo, and made up of 77 people of 21 different nationalities, arrived in the country for this second round in a staggered manner as of April 1 and was deployed in 18 provinces of the national territory and four cities abroad, which made it possible to follow up on different stages of the electoral process and observe the elections from the opening of the voting tables to the closing and counting of votes.
On election day, the members of the Mission visited 354 polling places and observed 1,562 voting centers. At the time of opening, they found that 67 percent of the polling stations observed were installed with their regular members. In about 5 percent of the stations observed, voters in line were required to fill this role. Despite some minor delays, the Mission learned of the installation of 100 percent of the polling stations. At this stage, 75 percent of the polling stations observed had delegates from the contending political organizations, the majority of whom were women.
In the voting centers observed, the Mission found that the vast majority had all the essential electoral materials, as well as biosafety elements. Likewise, the Mission observed that, in general terms, the voting spaces were adequate, security was present, and that the right to the secrecy of the vote was guaranteed. 77 percent of the sites visited had a preferential service desk for the elderly and people with disabilities.
At the time of closing, the Mission verified that the vast majority of the polling stations had representatives of the two political organizations in contention, and that they received a copy of the tally sheet. The Mission welcomes the high participation of women and members of indigenous and Afro-Ecuadorian peoples fulfilling this role. The Mission compiled quantitative and qualitative information on various aspects of the electoral process. In this sense, the data collected and processed by the Mission coincides with the results of the official count published by the National Electoral Council.
The OAS Electoral Observation Mission will continue to monitor the process until its conclusion and will present a preliminary report in the coming days.
The Mission thanks the electoral authorities for the facilities granted to carry out their work and the Ecuadorian people for welcoming the OAS with warmth, as well as the financial contributions from Canada, the United States, Spain, France, the Netherlands, and the Dominican Republic that made the Mission possible.