QUITO Ecuador's electoral council late Thursday night approved a partial recount of votes in the recent disputed presidential election, in a bid to highlight what it says was a fair process after the losing conservative candidate said there was fraud.
The April 2 election was won by the government's socialist candidate Lenin Moreno in a close contest, rebutting a tide of market-friendly governments that have recently come to power in South America.
The recount of the equivalent of 1.2 million votes, which would account for 12 percent of the total votes cast, will take place on Tuesday in public in the capital Quito. The council has not disclosed what sort of ballots would be recounted.
"We are going to open the polls ... to show the country the truth. We have nothing to hide," said Juan Pablo Pozo, head of the electoral council.
Despite winning, Moreno's party has also disputed the results, saying he won by a larger margin than the tally showed. Moreno won 51.16 percent of valid votes versus 48.84 percent for his opponent Guillermo Lasso, with 99.65 percent of votes counted, according to the electoral council.
Lasso, a 61-year-old former banker, declared himself the winner of the vote before any official announcement had been made. Saying the election results made a "mockery" of the Ecuadorean people, he has asked for a full recount.The OPEC country's new president is to be inaugurated on May 24.
(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia in Quito.; Writing by Girish Gupta in Caracas; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)