AFP: Ecuador officials deny fraud claims in presidency vote
Quito (AFP) - Ecuadoran officials denied claims of attempted fraud in a tightly-fought election as the last votes were counted Tuesday with the ruling socialists looking likely to face a hard-to-win runoff vote.
With just over 95 percent of ballots counted from Sunday's election, leftist ruling party candidate Lenin Moreno had 39.21 percent of the vote, according to the National Electoral Council.
That was just short of the 40 percent needed to avoid a runoff on April 2 against his conservative rival Guillermo Lasso, who was on 28.35 percent.
"There is a marked trend, and if that turns out to be the case there would be a runoff," the president of the National Electoral Council, Juan Pablo Pozo, told a news conference.
He has said it could take until Thursday for the full results to be confirmed.
Lasso said he was confident there would be a second-round runoff.
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WNU Editor: The optics for this delay in announcing the results of the election are not good. It gives the impression to everyone that the government's election commission is looking for votes that would give the ruling government's candidate the needed 40% to win the election and avoid a run-off vote.