QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Final results from a Feb. 7 presidential election in Ecuador confirmed that former banker Guillermo Lasso came second behind leading candidate Andrés Arauz, meaning the two will contest a runoff vote in April, election officials said Sunday.
Lasso, who had lost the last two presidential contests, won 19.74% of votes in the election while Indigenous candidate Yaku Pérez came third with 19.38% after all votes were counted, the National Electoral Council said. Just 32,600 votes separated the two candidates.
Arauz led with 32.72%, a frontrunner status that became clear in partial results and only left open the question of who he would face in the April 11 runoff after the tight race for second place.
Arauz, who is backed by ex-President Rafael Correa, has proposed making the wealthy pay more taxes, strengthening consumer protections, public banking and local credit and savings organizations. He also says he wants to back away from agreements with the International Monetary Fund.
“Democracy has triumphed,” Lasso tweeted after the final results. He has had a long career in business, banking and government and favors free-market policies and Ecuador’s rapprochement with international organizations.
Pérez had alleged fraud after partial results indicated he had fallen just short of defeating Lasso and making it to the runoff. He is entitled to appeal the election results if he chooses to do so.
Indigenous communities led protests in October 2019 that forced Ecuador’s government to back down on a move to end fuel subsidies.