Ecuador president-elect says democracy strengthened

QUITO, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador's president-elect Lenin Moreno claimed on Wednesday that democracy had been strengthened after a recount of 1.2 million votes on Tuesday, confirmed his victory in the second round of presidential elections held April 2.

"After the recount of 1.2 million votes, the triumph of @35PAIS (Moreno's PAIS Alliance Twitter handle) was ratified. Thank you, we did not cheat you! Ecuador expects peace and work," wrote Moreno on Twitter.

Moreno added that it is "the time for agreements for great national objectives."

"Democracy has been strengthened, we now look ahead. The future cannot be stopped," he pledged.

Moreno will become president on May 24, replacing Rafael Correa, who has led the country three terms and for 10 years.

Moreno won with 51.16 percent of the vote, defeating his rival, former banker Guillermo Lasso, who received 48.84 percent.

These results were fully confirmed on Tuesday by the National Electoral Council (CNE) on Tuesday after having received objections from both sides and recounting 1,275,450 votes.

The recount, which was broadcast live nationwide, lasted 12 hours and was overseen by international observers, representatives of civil society as well as local and national government envoys.

The recount was largely motivated by Lasso who refused to accept the result, citing that he was the victim of electoral fraud. His CREO movement gathered a petition to demand the results be overturned.

However, the CNE rejected the appeal and declared Tuesday that the results were now definitive.

At the announcement, CNE president Juan Pablo Pozo said that "the only step taken is to ratify the citizens' will," adding that the allegations of fraud by the opposition were lies.

"Nothing was correct, they could not back up, nationally or internationally, their accusations of fraud," he explained.

[ Editor: meng ]


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