April 14, 2017
Carlos Sánchez Berzain*
(Interamerican Institute for Democracy) The clearest picture the recent Ecuadorean elections have shown is that of electoral fraud, the fundamental feature of the 21st Century Socialism (SSXXI) with a Castroist methodology to build and sustain dictatorships with a façade of democracy through manipulated election results, exactly what the Ecuadorean ruling party has engaged in doing. This time around the Ecuadorean people are victims of a crime that imposes upon them a president who did not win the elections. We are witnessing the repetition of the fraud of 2013 in Venezuela that placed Maduro ahead of Capriles, the same technique used in Bolivia in 2014 for the benefit of Morales and used in 2016 for Ortega’s in Nicaragua. From Nicolas Maduro to Lenin Moreno, from Venezuela to Ecuador (including Bolivia and Nicaragua) we see that the only means for the undesirables to stay in power and with impunity is through electoral fraud. The latest victim are the Ecuadorean people.
In a democracy, elections must be “periodic, free, fair and be based on a universal and secret vote as an expression of the people’s sovereignty” moreover, elections must be conducted “under conditions of democracy” comprised by respect for human rights and basic freedoms, the existence of the rule of law, the separation and independence of the branches of government and the existence of a system with a plurality of political parties and organizations. These are the binding fundamental elements of democracy that are outlined in the Interamerican Democratic Charter.
“Fraud” constitutes a crime and is “any act that is contrary to the truth and righteousness.” It is any commission or omission that seeks to “elude the truth to the detriment of the State or a person”. “Electoral fraud” is “the illicit tampering of a process with the objective of preventing, annulling or modifying actual electoral results”. Worse yet “to institutionalize electoral fraud” is to establish within the Government the mechanisms, procedures and even laws and regulations to enable the one in power to commit fraud for his benefit, while simulating to be abiding by a legal mandate that he himself created through “despicable” legislation.
These machinations amply demonstrate the fundamental feature that electoral fraud is for governments comprising the 21st Century Socialism to stay in power indefinitely, all while simulating to be democratic. It is further proof that those governments are dictatorships wherein there is no rule of law and there is no separation and independence of any branch of government that could abate the dictatorial fraud. In other words, there is no one and there is no how to complain to get a clean recount of votes, even after factoring in the fraud committed days before the elections. Their worn-out slogan claiming “if there are elections, there is democracy” no longer convinces anyone when the people witness time and again the conduct of elections without; freedom, transparency, fairness, independence, and ethics”.
Ecuador’s elections this 2017 have been setup under a “legal mandate” created to exclusively benefit the ruling party, a mandate with the deceiving name of “Democracy’s Code” that instituted mechanisms which; enabled voters’ registration far in excess of what the country may have, designated the people who are government’s dependents as electoral authorities as is the case of the members of the “National Electoral Counsel” (CNE in Spanish) and their subordinates, rigged the electoral demographics’ map to their benefit, have demonstrated a bias in favor of the ruling party, prevents the existence of mechanisms to contest results or take this matter to the courts, allows fraud in the recounting of votes, annuls the voter’s and candidate’s right to legal defense (among other things).
If we were to recount all votes in Ecuador today, the ruling party loses and this is why their highest electoral court (CNE) has become “the gang of 5” cronies of Rafael Correa to make Lenin Moreno a president. If we were to produce all events that took place in Venezuela’s elections of 2013 as a drama or as a comedy and compare them with those of the Ecuadorean elections of 2017 we will see a replica. Not only do they look similar, they are exactly alike, they are an exact replica in time, media spots, the commission of fraud, and even the percentages claimed. In Ecuador, we are now witnessing the one before the final act, that of protest. In the dictatorial agenda, they are preparing the final act, that of pacifying the people through deceit and the assumption of government by the impostor who did not win the elections, another Maduro! Afterwards, as a post-production event we’ll see the judicialized repression and the murdering of reputations to disarm and once and for all annihilate the opposition who actually won the elections.
Besides replicating all methodology already mentioned, fraud included some unique features such as; in Bolivia in 2014 it consisted of legally enabling Evo Morales to be a candidate even though his own Constitution and despicable legislation prohibited it (similar to what happened to Maduro) and preventing several candidates to run due to legal charges levied against them or being imprisoned or exiled, in Nicaragua in 2016 eliminating all the opposition from the elections to enable Daniel Ortega and his wife fulfill their desire to establish a dynasty there. In each and every case they used their Judicial Branch and judges and manipulated the control of power and there was no one and nowhere anyone could complain to, albeit there were “international observer friends” from an international community comprised by governments who were deceived, were indifferent, or had become accomplices, fearful, or had been bribed. In Ecuador’s case, we see the same thing with observers who are suspiciously quiet and an Organization of American States (OAS) who is at the least deceived, or confused.
Ecuador demands a TOTAL RECOUNT OF VOTES from the ballot boxes because the published results are suspicious, and the tallying of votes continues, and all is fed to computers with biased programming imbedded for the CNE to manipulate. To oppose and prevent the requested recount is a confirmation that there is fraud. If Lenin Moreno wants to have legitimacy he should be the one most interested in the total recount. If Guillermo Lasso does not want to be another Capriles (made ineligible to ever again run as a candidate by the Venezuelan dictatorship) he must defend the popular vote and prevent the history of Venezuela -through fraud- to be repeated in Ecuador.
*Attorney & Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy
Published in Spanish by Diario las Americas on Sunday April 9, 2017