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Ecuador's Election Ends In Close Result, And Accusations Of Cheating

Supporters of presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso are confronted by the police near the National Electoral Council in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday. Ruling party candidate Lenin Moreno was declared the winner of Ecuador's presidential runoff Sunday, delivering a major setback to a recent right-ward surge in Latin American politics.

With a razor-thin margin, leftist candidate Lenín Moreno appears to have won Ecuador's presidential election. But his conservative opponent, Guillermo Lasso, plans to object to Sunday's vote — he says the numbers don't add up, citing an exit poll that had showed him in the lead.

Complaints about the vote also include problems with the website of the National Electoral Council — as El Universo notes, many members of the public could only access the site intermittently. As the results were published, violence was reported in some provinces, according to Ecua Visa.

With nearly 99 percent of the ballots accounted for, Moreno snagged 51.16 percent of the vote to 48.84 percent for Lasso, according to several Ecuadoran media outlets that cite the election agency. Early Monday morning, Lasso was shown trailing Moreno by around 200,000 votes — 4.8 million to 5 million.

The race has been widely watched in part because it could affect the future of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Lasso, who's now in second place, has said he wouldn't allow Assange to continue staying out of British and American authorities' reach by living in Ecuador's embassy in London.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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