Moreno claims victory in Ecuador election but rival calls for a recount

On Monday, he appeared alongside Moreno at changing of the guard ceremony at the presidential palace.

Last week, Lasso, his family, and supporters were pelted with vuvuzelas and other objects after watching the World Cup qualifier match between Ecuador and Colombia by people he later called "foreign mercenaries" hired by the government.

In the run-up to Ecuador's presidential elections, conservative candidate Lasso promised that he "will cordially ask Senor Assange to leave" within 30 days of assuming office, should he be elected.

Surveys show Moreno with a slight lead going into Sunday's vote, but pollsters warn that as much as 15 percent of the country's almost 13 million voters will make up their mind at the last minute. "Delegates from our political alliance will challenge the results", Lasso said.

Moreno, meanwhile, said he would start work immediately on his transition. It may also decide the fate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in Ecuador's London embassy since 2012.

"The moral fraud of the right-wing won't go unpunished", said Correa, referring to the fact that an exit poll which accurately predicted the first-round results showed Lasso winning the runoff by 6 points.

With more than 99 percent of polling places counted, Moreno had 51 percent of the vote while Lasso stood at just under 49 percent.

Moreno, who vows to govern in the interest of all Ecuadorians, expressed gratitude for messages from worldwide leaders congratulating him on his victory.

In proclaiming these results the CNE did not officially award the victory to Moreno.

"They've toyed with popular will, we are going to defend the will of the Ecuadoran people in the face of an attempted fraud that aims to install what would be an illegitimate government", Lasso said, Al Jazeera reported.

"We're going to keep building the path, we've done a lot but there's a lot more to do!" he said, flanked by running mate and current vice-president, Jorge Glas, as well as outgoing President Rafael Correa.

"They've crossed a line", Lasso told supporters in his coastal hometown of Guayaquil.

For weeks Ecuadoreans polarized by 10 years of Correa's iron-fisted rule had been bracing for a contested vote.

"Assange yes, Lasso no", he added in Spanish.

The Andean country's 12.8 million voters are choosing a successor to self-declared socialist Rafael Correa at the end of a weekend of political unrest and protests in Venezuela and Paraguay.

Correa and Moreno painted Lasso, a former banker, as an out of touch elite who contributed to the country's still painful 1990s banking crisis.

He will be under pressure to create jobs and crack down on graft amid corruption scandals at state-run oil company PetroEcuador and Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht.

"You have the voting acts, you know Cedatos lied to you", Moreno said in a message to his rival.

  • Leroy Wright