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Iran Press TV

Protests rock Ecuador after Lasso refuses to concede defeat

Iran Press TV

Tue Apr 4, 2017 8:42AM

Supporters of Ecuadorean opposition leader Guillermo Lasso have once again taken to the streets in protest against alleged fraud in Sunday's presidential election, in which his leftist rival won.

With more than 99 percent of the votes counted, Ecuador's ruling party candidate Lenin Moreno was declared winner of the presidential runoff with 51 percent of the vote while Lasso was closely behind with 49 percent.

A few thousand pro-Lasso protesters gathered outside the National Electoral Council in Quito on Monday night.

During the protest, Lasso pledged to keep up the fight against the installation of an "illegitimate" government.

"We're not afraid of the miserable cowards who are on the wrong side of history," the conservative politician told the protesters.

By nightfall, most of the demonstrators had left, but a few hundred die-hards remained in a peaceful vigil, with riot police present at the scene.

"We're looking at an unprecedented situation: those behind the fraud are the judges themselves," Lasso told foreign reporters.

He added that his campaign would seek recount once the results are certified, noting, "We expect they'll deny our requests but in doing so they'll be confirming the fraud."

The protest was much calmer than the one the previous night in Quito and the city of Guayaquil.

The Organization of American States, which its mission of electoral observers randomly visited 480 voting centers nationwide, said the tallies meet the official results.

The regional body also urged Lasso to issue complaints through institutional channels.

Outgoing President Rafael Correa accused Lasso and his supporters of trying to deny the results and provoke violence.

"By force, they want to achieve what they can't at the ballot box," he said.

Moreno, 64, follows the leftist line of the government of President Correa, 53, who has served in that capacity since 2007. During the election campaign, Moreno promised to continue the policies set by Correa.

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