Ecuador election: Fraud alleged as protesters scuffle

BBCA row has erupted over Ecuador’s presidential elections after early results indicate a victory for the incumbent party’s candidate. With more than 98% of the votes counted, Lenin Moreno of the Socialist Party had won 51.15% and his challenger Guillermo Lasso 48.85% of the votes.

Mr Lasso has demanded a recount, arguing electoral fraud was used to grant victory to his rival. He has also called on his supporters to take to the streets in protest. Three exit polls had earlier predicted a win for Mr Lasso, a conservative former banker, prompting celebrations by him and his supporters.

At 17:00 local time (22:00 GMT) Mr Lasso, waving an Ecuadorean flag, took to the stage in a hotel in his hometown of Guayaquil to tell his backers that “a new Ecuador” had been born.

He tweeted a picture of the celebrations with the words: “Democracy has won, FREEDOM has won in Ecuador.” …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

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