April 1, 2017
Presidential elections are on Sunday April 2, in Ecuador. The election is between socialist Lenin Moreno with the Alianza PAIS (AP) party and democrat Guillermo Lasso with the Creando Opotunidades (CREO) party, who have been battling closely since the primary elections 6 weeks ago.
“This is a war between the good and the evil, this is the most important; no, more than important moment in history. We will be free or we will be slaves,” says citizen, Christina, at the CREO Electoral Conference, which is made up of citizens who came on their own free will.
For the first time in Ecuadorian history, the CREO Electoral Conference was formed in every providence of the country to teach citizens how to prevent voting fraud from happening in the April 2 elections. A room at a university in Guayaquil sat over 100 people who gathered together to learn what to look for at the voting poles on Sunday, which is the countries only voting day for the elections.
During the primaries, there is said to have been many counts of fraudulent voting from the AP party to try and get ahead of Lasso. The CNE, National Electoral Council, where votes are counted, was fenced off around the building while vote counting was going on. The CREO party had a tent up outside of the CNE fence to keep surveillance, along with the AP party in a different area. One member noticed a man with a backpack walk through the crowd near the CREO tent and pass it through the fence to the CNE officials on the other side. A short time later, another man was spotted with a backpack with intentions of passing it over the fence. The people stopped him and asked him what was inside. He stated that he had his rights and did not have to show. Over several accounts of the man refusing, the crowd started to get louder moving towards in him. After the man refused several times, someone from the crowd grabbed it off of him. After opening it, there were numerous voting sheets marked with Moreno’s name inside of the backpack. The man stated that he was paid $20 to carry the votes which were marked Moreno, to the CNE gate. 28 backpacks were found that day in the first three hours. Numerous Lasso votes were found outside of the CNE in trashcans as well. Three other forms of fraud are still under investigation.
The entire country is on edge as the elections are only one day away. The people fear another 10 years of socialism and a future like Venezuela and Cuba. “For the first time in my 42 years that I have lived in Ecuador, there was mass held at churches all over the country that went through the night, praying for Lasso and change.” says Maria Teresa, a local visiting mass at 11pm. Usually the last mass of the day is at 7 pm but yesterday mass went until 6am.
Voting starts at 7am to 5pm tomorrow April 2, 2017. The CNE has already shut down 7 blocks around the building for the process of counting votes and is being guarded by the government and police. No cameras were allowed by outsiders, but a restaurant owner on the block pointed out cameras that Correa had put up last week and he said that drones will be out tomorrow as well. There is also cell phone service inhibitors set up around the CNE area. Citizens fear Venezuelan and Cuba militia posing as Lasso supporters to cause fights with the AP party, on camera.
“Everything you think to be imaginary with the corruption, is real. There will be blood spilled tomorrow.” Diego, citizen of Ecuador.