Loser Lasso to challenge almost 2000 vote counts in Ecuador election

As unsuccessful former presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso becomes increasingly isolated in his refusal to accept the results of Ecuador's election, the United States on Thrusday joined the long list of countries that has congratulated President-elect Lenin Moreno on his recent win.

"However, we do note the concerns about the electoral process and expect that they will be fully considered and resolved in a legal and transparent manner", the US State Department said.

It's the strongest argument yet backing up his claims that ruling-party candidate Lenin Moreno won the election through fraud.

With 99.65 percent of the ballots counted, Moreno led conservative career banker Lasso by a margin of 51.16 percent to 48.84 percent.

"Without a doubt there was fraud", Mr Lasso said, standing before boxes of voting acts he said were scanned by campaign poll observers on election night and will form the basis of their challenge. Moreno appeared to have won Ecuador's presidential election but his conservative rival refused to recognize the results on Monday, calling on his supporters to take to the streets to guard against fraud.

On election night, thousands of outraged Lasso supporters shouting "fraud" crashed through metal barricades to nearly reach the entrance of the council's headquarters.

Ahead of Lasso's announcement of the specific details of his challenge to the results Wednesday, head of the National Electoral Council, Juan Pablo Pozo, noted that only 835 electoral rolls - or 2 percent of the more than 40,000 rolls - presented irregularities and would be submitted to a public audit.

The Organization of American States, which had an observer mission in Ecuador, said yesterday it had seen "no discrepancies" between results collected by its observers at polling stations and official results. Moreno had on Monday declared himself the "president of all Ecuadorans" as the last results were counted from Sunday's runoff election.

Likewise, the candidate of Creando Oportunidades (CREO) assured that if in the results of the recount, his official opponent Lenin Moreno is a victor, he will recognize the triumph.

For weeks Ecuadoreans polarized by 10 years of Correa's iron-fisted rule had been bracing for a contested vote. Moreno said he would let him stay.