The historic null vote of the indigenistas, key in the victory of the right in Ecuador


The historic null vote of 16.33 percent achieved by the Ecuadorian indigenous organizations in the second round of the presidential elections held this Sunday has ultimately been decisive before the equality between the two candidates in the running, the progressive Andrés Arauz and the conservative Guillermo Lasso, who has finally won by five points of difference.

This 16.33 percent, a total of 1,728,482 invalid votes, acquires a greater relevance if possible considering that the Ecuadorian indigenous population represents 7 percent of the total, according to official statistics.

Yaku Pérez and his party, Pachakutik, asked their supporters to vote null in protest at what they consider to be electoral fraud in the first round of February 7, when after spending much of the qualifying count for the second round with Arauz, he was suddenly surpassed by Lasso by just 32,000 votes.

The electoral bodies dismissed his appeals and requests for a vote recount in several provinces of the country, including the agreement reached between Lasso and Pérez to request the recount, which Lasso himself retracted.

On Sunday, Pérez deposited a ballot with the phrase “Yaku, Presidente Resistencia” handwritten at the Fausto Molina school in the province of Azuay, in southern Ecuador and said he felt “indignation and impotence” after exercising his right.

The indigenous movement is linked to the left. In fact, the president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), Jaime Vargas, was expelled from Pachakutik on April 6, after he supported the candidacy of the correista Arauz. “He is no longer a representative of the indigenous movement,” Pachakutik coordinator Marlon Santi explained then.

After the controversy, CONAIE itself reaffirmed its request for a null vote in the second round of the presidential elections. “We call on our leaders not to fall into the electoral game and maintain the ideological horizon firmly, since actions contrary to the great collective decisions come from long ago,” the organization qualified in an official statement.

“The ideological null vote means being consistent with the historical struggle of the indigenous movement of Ecuador, since our political project and demands transcend the electoral scene, we do not negotiate the political project with the right-wing, no matter where it comes from,” said the Indigenous Movement spokesman and Farmer (MICC) Apawqui Castro.

Pérez’s party, Pachakutik, nevertheless retains a historic representation after the February legislative elections, since it is currently the second political force in the country with 26 assembly members.

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