Ecuador is sheltering from the most harrowing elections in its recent history

Ecuador will vote under “shock” this Sunday. 13.4 million Ecuadorians are called to the polls to elect the President who will succeed Guillermo Lasso and the congressmen who will form the new National Assembly in elections marked by the assassination of candidate Fernando Villavicencio on August 9 and the security crisis in the country.

The authorities have drawn up a special plan so that the elections can be carried out normally, or at least as normally as possible. The National Electoral Council (CNE), the body responsible for conducting the elections properly, was responsible for organizing the screening of the 4,390 constituencies.

At the request of the CNE, the government ordered this The deployment of army troops around schools begins this Wednesday, days before the vote. This is an action normally taken 24 hours before the election, but this timeIt has been further developed to give a sense of security to the voters. As the President of the CNE explained, Diana Atamaintit will be done “with plenty of time in advance so that they are sure of any risk.” Atamaint described the military operation as “a positive response from citizens to voting” in a country wracked by the tide of violence.

Villavicencio, the "irreplaceable"  assassinated in his crusade against mafias and corruption
Villavicencio, the “Irreplaceable”, assassinated in his crusade against mafias and corruptionJose JacomeEFE

The assassination of Villavicencio at the end of an election rally in Quito was its highlight, but other candidates and political leaders have also been assassinated in recent months. The last, Correísta Sergio Briones, was shot in the town of Esmeraldas.

The CNE has also asked local authorities to introduce control measures around polling stations to prevent possible incidents and increase security. Almost 280,000 people will be part of the Vote Receiving Boards and the goal is that they can carry out their work normally and the country can elect a new president with whom it can try to rediscover the path of peace.

It will probably be the most tense election in Ecuador and, with around 300 accredited international observers, one of the most publicized elections in the world. A week before the elections, the CNE ran a major election simulation in which almost 4,700 police officers and 5,800 soldiers to ensure the entire voting and security machinery is oiled on Sunday. Atamaint said it was a “success”, adding: “We are ready with all technical and logistical procedures.”

Read Also:  Russia's angry reaction after the US approved a multimillion-dollar military aid package for Ukraine

But Organized crime has already demonstrated its power to threaten political and institutional life in Ecuador. Concerns about possible armed action on election day continue. In the midst of a gigantic security operation, the government followed suit on Monday José Adolfo Macías, aka “Fito”to the maximum security prison “La Roca” in the city of Guayaquil.

“Fito” is believed to be the leader of the “Los Choneros” gang, in whose name Villavicencio had received death threats, as he himself said a few days before the attack that claimed his life. The government wants to prevent “Fito” from continuing to lead the criminal group from prison usually in which he was hospitalized and can order measures that affect election day.

And it is that security has become a national obsession. Also for the candidates who had to adjust their speeches after the excitement surrounding Villavicencio’s assassination. The fight against crime almost monopolized the debate between the candidates last Sunday.

Luisa Gonzalez, candidate of the Correísta Revolución Ciudadana, promised a “strong hand against crime”. González topped the latest published polls, but the Villavicencio’s death changed the whole picture and put Correísmo in an awkward position. The candidate had been one of the former President’s scourges Rafael Correa, in which he denounced some of the corruption scandals that plagued his government and fueled speculation of involvement in his assassination. Even if there are no signs of this so far, the Correísmo fears that the mere suspicion could cause many voters to rethink. Correa himself recognized the ill effects of a “miserable campaign” that linked him to the assassination.

Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here