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Cablegate: Guayas Elections and Beyond - Psc Rolls On

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 GUAYAQUIL 001223

SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (ELECTION TERM UPDATES)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM EC
SUBJECT: GUAYAS ELECTIONS AND BEYOND - PSC ROLLS ON

REF: A) GUAYAQUIL 1120 B) QUITO 2771

1. Summary: As expected, the Social Christian Party (PSC)
dominated election results in its heartland of Guayas
province and the city of Guayaquil. Jaime Nebot easily won
reelection as mayor of Guayaquil and the incumbent PSC
prefect, Nicolas Lapentti, turned back his challenger and
won a fourth term as prefect. Jimmy Jairala, the Ecuadorian
Roldosista Party (PRE) candidate for mayor of Guayaquil, did
better than expected; Citizens Force candidate Humberto Mata
did worse. The PSC made gains elsewhere on the coast,
mainly at the PRE's expense. To no surprise, President
Gutierrez' Patriotic Society Party (PSP) candidates lost
badly. End Summary.

Prefect Race
-------------

2. The official vote count is still underway but it is
clear that Nicolas Lapentti was reelected as prefect for his
fourth term with approximately 40.2% of the votes.
Lapentti's closest rival, Humberto Mata from Citizens Force,
won 20.5% of the vote. Mata received fewer votes than he
had in the 2000 sectional elections, when he claimed
electoral fraud. Gloria Gallardo (PRIAN), was the only
woman running for prefect of Guayas, and placed third with
16.8% of the votes. PRE candidate Adolfo Bucaram, brother
of disgraced former president Abdala Bucaram, received just
10% of the vote. Renan Borbua, PSP prefect candidate and
cousin of President Gutierrez, received 5.2%.

Mayor of Guayaquil Race
-----------------------

3. In Guayaquil, Jaime Nebot (PSC) was reelected for a
second term as mayor, defeating Jimmy Jairala (PRE) by less
than had been expected. Some polls had suggested Nebot
winning by a three to one margin, but the vote count to date
indicates Jairala received about 29.6% of votes to Nebot's
56.7%. Jairala's relatively strong showing may have been
due in part to his popularity as a journalist and television
personality. Fernando Barreno of the PRIAN was third with
8.2%. Felipe Mantilla, PSP candidate and former Governor of
Guayas, received only 1.7%. In total, the PSC won 16 out of
28 mayoral races in Guayas, all of them with more than 35%
of the vote. The PRIAN and PRE won 4 mayoral contests each,
the Popular Democracy Party (DP) won one, one was suspended
and alliances won the final two races.

PSC Gains Elsewhere in Coastal Region
------------------------------------

4. The PSC also gained in several other provinces within
the Guayaquil Consular district. The PSC consolidated its
power in the provinces of Manabi and Zamora Chinchipe while
winning the mayoral races in the important cities of
Babahoyo and Quevedo (in Los Rios province); San Cristobal
and Isabela (Galapagos); and in Azogues (Caar). The PRE
won the prefect and mayor races in Loja but suffered a
bruising defeat at the hands of the PSC in the race for
mayor of Machala (El Oro province) and in the race for
prefect of Manabi, both once considered PRE strongholds.
The Democratic Left (ID) won the prefect and mayoral races
in Azuay. The alliance candidate for the PSP and DP won the
Galapagos prefect race and the Santa Cruz mayoral race.

Disturbances Marr Voting Day
----------------------------

5. Press reported and police confirmed disturbances in
five municipalities of Guayas on election day. In El
Empalme, disturbances caused the temporary suspension of
voting. In Duran, unidentified political party members
tried to burn a school down where elections had taken place
as a form of protest. From that municipality, various PRE
members drove to the Electoral Tribunal of Guayas (TEG) to
report fraud against their candidate. In Isidrio Ayora,
PRIAN members also took semi-burned electoral ballots to
Electoral Tribunal of Guayas (TEG) to report fraud. Press
also reported confrontations between the police and PRIAN
members there. In Samborondon, the president of a voting
center was reportedly shot as the voting center was closing
down. Finally, the elections were suspended and will be re-
run in the municipality of Simon Bolivar due to violence
over possible electoral fraud.

Comment
-------

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (ELECTION TERMS UPDATED)
6. Despite these isolated disturbances, which affected
only a minor part of the electorate in Guayas, the elections
elsewhere were generally peaceful and ran smoothly in most
voting centers. Guayaquil Consulate officials visited 30
voting centers as OEA observers in Guayaquil and encountered
no irregularities or violence.

7. The PSC consolidated and boosted its dominance in Guayas
province and made some inroads elsewhere in the coastal
region of Ecuador, at the cost of the PRE. While some fault
the PSC aging leadership or the PSC's overemphasis on public
works rather than social welfare, many "costenos" clearly
retain faith in the party and are attracted to decisive
leadership of party strongman Leon Febres-Cordero and the
can-do attitude of local leaders Nebot and Lapentti.
Meanwhile, the PRE has slowly been losing ground in the
absence of Abdala Bucaram and the glaring contrast between
the results of PSC versus PSC rule. While the fate of
President Gutierrez' PSP is still unclear at the national
level, it clearly enjoys little support in this part of
Ecuador.

HERBERT

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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