By Agence France-Presse
Ecuador’s election authorities have confirmed the victory of socialist Lenin Moreno after recounting more than 1.2 million ballots from the presidential polls earlier this month.
Moreno won the April 2 second round with a 51.15 percent share — more than 226,000 votes ahead of his conservative rival Guillermo Lasso, who has alleged fraud, refused to accept the result and asked for a full recount.
The National Electoral Council (CNE) recounted approximately 1,275,450 votes — more than 11 percent of the total cast — an endeavor that lasted some 13 hours.
The recount was broadcast live from a sports coliseum in northern Quito, as observation missions from the Organization of American States and the Union of South American Nations monitored the effort.
The CNE on Tuesday confirmed the victory of Moreno, who after the recount obtained 51.16 percent of the vote to Lasso’s 48.84 percent.
The results came amid accusations of irregularities from Lasso, who has accused the CNE of being controlled by the socialist government of current President Rafael Correa.
The CNE had said only those votes disputed on a technical basis would be reviewed, adding that a full recount has “no legal basis.”
Moreno is set to replace fellow socialist Rafael Correa on May 24.
His election bucks a trend in Latin America, where more than a decade of leftist dominance is on the wane.
His win also came as a relief for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who faced a threat by Lasso to expel him from his refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy.