Monday 20 May 2019

Ecuador prosecutors search polling firm amid election dispute

Lenin Moreno waves an Ecuador flag as he celebrates winning the presidency (AP)
Lenin Moreno waves an Ecuador flag as he celebrates winning the presidency (AP)

Ecuadorean prosecutors and police have searched the office of a Gallup polling affiliate whose presidential election exit poll fuelled protests by projecting a six-point win for the losing opposition candidate.

An exit poll by Cedatos and two other firms showed conservative banker Guillermo Lasso winning Sunday's race, but o fficial results wound up showing him losing by two points to ruling-party candidate Lenin Moreno.

Outgoing president Rafael Correa accused people close to Mr Lasso's campaign of hiring Cedatos to intentionally spread false results and sow confusion.

Cedatos executive president Polibio Cordoba told Notimundo radio that the firm had nothing to hide.

"If honesty brings us to this point, then this is the price of honesty," he said.

Officials are barred by law from describing ongoing investigations, but the raid appeared to be linked to a formal complaint by a governing party politician, congressional vice president Rosana Alvarado, which echoed the president's allegation.

Her complaint lists crimes of illegal association and alteration of documents, the most severe of which could lead to seven years in prison.

Cedatos accurately predicted the results of the eight-way first round.

Mr Lasso has cited Cedatos' exit poll in his claims that the race was stolen.


Press Association

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