Tuesday, April 20

Elections: Electoral polls point to a tight tiebreaker between Guillermo Lasso and Andrés Arauz in Ecuador | International


The candidate for the presidency of Ecuador Andrés Arauz participates in a meeting with supporters, in Quito, on October 29.
The candidate for the presidency of Ecuador Andrés Arauz participates in a meeting with supporters, in Quito, on October 29.Jose Jacome / EFE

The tighter the predictions about what will happen on April 11 in Ecuador’s presidential elections, the more personal the attrition strategy between the two candidates becomes. Andrés Arauz, the candidate of the UNES alliance sponsored by Rafael Correa, and Guillermo Lasso, from CREO-PSC, deepened the intersection between them in the presidential debate two Sundays ago. Since then, the mutual attacks have not stopped. The campaign proposals and the measures they will take if they govern have gone into the background, while electoral polls suggest that the vote of Ecuadorians will be very divided.

Before the first round, Andrés Arauz offered a $ 1,000 bond to one million families to attract voters to the Union for Hope proposal. Guillermo Lasso then spoke of raising the basic salary from 400 to 500 dollars if the alliance of the CREO movement and the Christian Social Party reached the Carondelet palace. This week, the former reproached “the dirty campaign” of the latter in a message in which he accused Lasso of “bank embezzlement.”

“Several months ago I filed a criminal complaint that Guillermo Lasso’s dirty campaign is being financed with resources from the Bank of Guayaquil,” the correísmo candidate launched in a video on social networks. The financial entity, of which Lasso was CEO until 2012, denied his participation in any political campaign and denounced the “malicious content of such messages.”

Polls related to Arauz give him an advantage of more than 10 points over Lasso in the electoral runoff on April 11, with 55.7% of valid votes compared to 44.3% of his rival, according to figures from Social Climate. But the other pollsters authorized by the National Electoral Council show a more adjusted scenario between the two. Click Report, with a neutral trend, gives Lasso a slight advantage with 51.49% of the valid votes – once the null and white votes are discounted – compared to the 48.51% that the UNES figure will reap. The Market pollster predicts that 42% of Ecuadorians will give their support to Arauz, 41% to Lasso, 11% will vote null and 5% blank. The statistics prepared by Omar Maluk, although they do not speak of the results of the second round, analyze where the 16% of the votes won by Xavier Hervas, the Democratic Left candidate who finished fourth in the first round, will go. According to his prediction, 12% will go to Lasso – whom Hervas himself prefers – and 4% will go to Arauz.

These figures reflect that Guillermo Lasso, who remained behind in the first round polls with greater distance, has cut the advantage that Arauz had. After the presidential debate, the candidate of the Ecuadorian right took advantage of a catchy tagline that he launched in the meeting with Arauz to fight the reproaches he received. “Andrés, not while again.” He repeated it in the debate and made it a trend in social networks, where the attrition strategy. His impact grew this week, when it came to light that Arauz had actually worked for only two of the 12 years in which he has remained in the records of the Central Bank of Ecuador as a civil servant.

The opposition to Arauz has exploited that revelation to decaffeinate one of the main attacks of the UNES campaign: that Lasso has co-governed in the shadows with Lenín Moreno in the “worst government in history”. Arauz, according to the criticism received, worked for the State until mid-2020, although in those 12 years as a public official he spent 10 with licenses without exercising and when he left office he received $ 27,000 in compensation.

The tension in the political environment has not, however, eliminated the high percentage of undecided Ecuadorians. Click Report collects that 14.18% of voters will opt for the null and 8.08% are not clear about their decision. Clima Social counts 20% of null votes and 17% of undecided. And for Market, the nulls and whites add up to 16%. Ultimately, these numbers will depend on which candidate the polls will lean towards on April 11.

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