In the last month alone, we have seen calls for a military coup published in Ecuador's most popular newspapers, efforts to disqualify candidates with false accusations of fraud, and an illegal attempt to confiscate the voting databases.
That is why — at the invitation of the National Electoral Council (CNE) — the Progressive International is once again mobilizing to defend democracy in Ecuador and ensure its free, fair, and transparent elections on 11 April.
The presidential elections in Ecuador arrive in a context of severe economic, social, and political crisis. Mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic has devastated communities across the country, with poverty rates soaring over 10 percent since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, the Moreno government has been caught red-handed giving out vaccines to its rich and powerful friends before the rest of the country.
The 11 April elections therefore present a critical opportunity for the people of Ecuador to reclaim their constitutional right to popular sovereignty. Yet for many months, the Progressive International has witnessed efforts to undermine the integrity of the electoral process.
Inside of Ecuador, the Office of the Prosecutor and the Office of the Comptroller have come together to attack the CNE with false charges of electoral fraud, calling to confiscate their digital databases and annul their first-round vote count.
Outside of Ecuador, the Attorney General of Colombia has colluded with Office of the Prosecutor to attack candidate Andrés Arauz with absurd lies about a loan facilitated by the Progressive International to his presidential campaign.
We are outraged but not surprised that the Progressive International has been targeted in this absurd campaign. As international observers, we have been clear about our singular motivation: a fair vote for the people of Ecuador, free from intervention by actors that have no legal function in the electoral process — whether the Organization of American States, the International Monetary Fund, or Ecuador's own Attorney General.
We are honored to work with the electoral authorities of Ecuador to ensure this fair vote. The task of organizing an election in a pandemic is enormous. We therefore reiterate our call for peace during the vote and patience in the full duration of the vote count.
We, the members of the Progressive International observer delegation, are inspired by the courage of the Ecuadorian people to stand up for their rights to health, dignity, and popular sovereignty — and we arrive to Ecuador with a commitment to stand with them.
Photo: Matthias / Flickr