UNASUR’s Electoral Mission, following the conveyance of its Preliminary Report, stated that in its opinion, the elections took place without incidents, with increased participation of the citizens, and under procedures in line with the relevant international standards, including the protocols on result transmission and vote counting.
Based on the relevant mandate and following the launching of its activities in the Republic of Ecuador on January 27, 2018, the members of the Mission were instructed to work with impartiality, independence, professionalism, and technical orientation. It is worth recalling that UNASUR’s delegates for this mission were experts in electoral processes, and most of them had previous experience with the Ecuadorian electoral system, both in the case of officials and electoral authorities from the 9 member countries represented in this opportunity.
The scheduled tasks were accomplished, including meetings with state authorities; representatives from social and political organizations behind the proposed options for the referendum and the consultation; other stakeholders of the electoral process; and professionals linked to survey and public opinion studies. At the same time, the Mission visited different units from the Ecuadorian National Electoral Council and Electoral Disputes Court, before, during, and after the voting process. Additionally, the Mission witnessed the vote casting of persons deprived of liberty, as well as the home voting procedure, and polling in nursing homes.
The deployment of the Mission aimed at the widest coverage possible of the territory (approximately, 62% of the electoral register), and at the collection of a representative sample of the voting centers and vote reception boards. Such activities were carried out in six provinces (Azuay, Esmeraldas, Guayas, Manabi, Orellana, and Pichincha), and included the observation by the delegates of 61 voting centers and 418 Vote Reception Boards.
This methodology allowed for the observation of all the stages of elections, from the establishment of the Vote Reception Boards through the dissemination of results.
In accordance with item 3.5 of the Third Clause in the Agreement between UNASUR and the CNE, the Mission is entrusted, inter alia, with the verification of the legal aspects of the process. In this scenario, the Mission informed that the political and social expressions supporting the options for the Referendum (YES and NO) were able to communicate with the Mission, both orally and through documents, aimed at expressing their constitutional validation of the process or at refusing the unconstitutionality of the convening to the Referendum and Public Consultation.
The Mission played its assigned role by receiving the aforementioned arguments and documents. However, it is evident that the settlement of the differences, while part of the public debate during the electoral campaign, is beyond the Mission’s scope and powers.
At the same time, the Mission stated that up to this moment it has not yet received any formal and supported denounce with respect to the development of the elections or its procedures.
The Mission will continue to receive information on the pending tasks of the process, and will issue its relevant conclusions and recommendations in a Final Report, in accordance with the provisions in Clause 9.3, within 15 days following the final announcement of the elections results, including all the collected information.
Said report will strive to explore cooperation mechanisms between the electoral bodies of Ecuador and the bodies that are members of the Electoral Council of UNASUR.
Finally, the Mission congratulated the Ecuadorian people for its civic and pacific behavior during the elections, while praised the electoral bodies for the support provided.
Quito, February 5, 2018.