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Ecuador’s Electoral Council calls for early general elections

The National Electoral Council (CNE) of Ecuador officially summoned this Wednesday to early general elections next August 20, after the president of the country, Guillermo Lasso, dissolved the National Assembly (Congress) and called for extraordinary elections.

The CNE made the call through a national radio and television chain in which it guaranteed the transparency of the process and assured that it would respect the vote of the citizens expressed in the ballot boxes.

“In this way, the National Electoral Council ratifies its democratic commitment through the execution of highly technical processes that provide guarantees of transparency, certainty, and legal security in all stages of the electoral process”, he indicated.

Ecuador's constitutional court. (Photo Internet reproduction)
Ecuador’s constitutional court. (Photo Internet reproduction)

He added that any publicity for electoral purposes is prohibited from the call for elections.

Last May 17, President Lasso decreed the “death cross”, introduced in the Constitution in 2008, which allows him to dissolve the National Assembly, call for early general elections, and rule by decree for six months after control by the Constitutional Court.

He decided due to a serious political crisis and internal commotion amid an impeachment trial for alleged embezzlement he was facing in Parliament, where the opposition was seeking his removal from office.

A little more than 13 million voters, inside and outside the country, will have to elect a new president, vice president, and 137 assembly members.

Those elected will have to complete the terms of Lasso and the dismissed assembly members until the end of their respective terms, which in both cases, will expire in May 2025.

In Ecuador, voting is mandatory for citizens between 18 and 65.

Ecuador’s Electoral Law provides that for a presidential candidate to win in the first round, he/she must have 40 percent of the votes and a 10 percentage point advantage over the second candidate.

In the event of a presidential run-off election, NEC decided that it would be held on October 15.

According to the electoral calendar, candidacies will be registered from May 28 to June 10, and the electoral campaign will take place from August 8 to 17.

In addition, mandatory electoral debates will be held on August 13 between the presidential candidates to promote an informed vote.

NEC had a seven-day deadline, which expired today, to officially call the elections, an unprecedented record time in Ecuador’s history.

This is the first time a president decrees the “cross death”, a tool that can be applied only once during the first three years in office.

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