Ecuador: Electoral Authority Does Not Authorize Computer Audits

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Ecuador’s National Electoral Council (CNE) on Tuesday denied the Comptroller’s Office request to audit the computer system that is being used for the ongoing electoral process.

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The decision was made by the CNE plenary after a meeting in which Technology Coordinator Christian Cerda and Legal Advisor Director Enrique Vaca explained that there are both technical and legal limitations to meet Deputy Comptroller Pablo Celi’s request.

Besides pointing out that the computer system is still in operation because the results for National lawmakers and Andean parliamentarians have not been officially proclaimed, Cerda explained that the imperfections in the minutes of the Feb. 7 presidential elections were not related to the computer system’ but to factors such as the absence of members in the voting boards.

The Legal Counsel Director explained that the Comptrollership’s request is also not appropriate because the Democracy Code clearly establishes that no authority outside the CNE may intervene directly or indirectly in the electoral process. 

Vaca also recalled that the Comptroller’s Office itself issued a 2020 agreement suspending the deadlines for the electoral audits.

CNE counselor Jose Cabrera rejected that Deputy Comptroller Celi intends to do an audit in less than 20 days before the second round of the Presidential elections to be held on April 11.

“That would be impossible,” he stressed and requested the CNE plenary to initiate actions against Celi before the Contentious Electoral Tribunal.

Previously, leftist economist Andres Arauz and right-wing banker Guillermo Lasso, both of whom will face each other in the second round, harshly criticized the Comptroller’s Office for its attempt to intervene in the electoral process.

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