April 19 (UPI) — Following a recount of nearly 1.3 million presidential votes, Ecuador’s National Electoral Council once again declared Lenín Moreno the winner of the election, this time by a slightly wider margin.
In the recount results, the electoral council, or CNE, said Moreno’s Alianza PAIS movement received 5,062,018 votes, or 51.16 percent of the total. Moreno’s competitor, Guillermo Lasso, and his CREO-SUMA political coalition received 4,833,389 votes, or 48.84 percent of the total.
“Thank you for showing us that we are an honest society,” CNE President Juan Pablo Pozo Bahamonde said in a statement Tuesday. “As I said before, elections are not won with speculation. They are won with votes.”
In the initial results following the April 2 election, Moreno received 5,060,424, or 51.15 percent, whereas Lasso received 4,833,828, or 48.85 percent. The CNE recounted 1,275,450 votes.
“After the recount of 1.2 million votes, it ratifies victory of Alianza PAIS. Thanks, we will not let you down! Ecuador expects peace and work,” Moreno said in a statement. “It is time for agreements for major national goals. Democracy is strengthened, we look forward. The future never stops!”
Members of the opposition have been protesting for weeks after the CNE announced Moreno won, saying electoral fraud occurred.
Lasso has repeatedly rejected a partial recount, instead calling for a full recount in the election.
“This recount of the CNE, rather than making the results transparent, will reveal the accomplices of this fraudulent process,” Lasso said in a statement on Tuesday.
Moreno served as leftist outgoing President Rafael Correa‘s vice president from 2007-13 before serving as U.N. Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility. He became paraplegic after being shot in the back in 1998.
Lasso, a center-right former banker who had the support of other opposition parties, ran on an economic platform in which he promised to create 1 million new jobs within four years. He is a conservative who vowed to reduce government spending and taxes.