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Ecuador recount confirms Moreno victory

A recount of nearly 1.3 million votes cast in Ecuador's presidential election has shown no significant differences over previous results, handing a narrow victory to Rafael Correa's hand-picked successor.

Lenin Moreno defeated former banker Guillermo Lasso by a slightly larger margin than previously revealed, but still less than three percentage points, according to the recount of about 10% of the votes.

"The recount is over and it has ratified the results," National Electoral Council president Juan Pablo Pozo said.

Opposition leader Mr Lasso called for a recount of all ballots filed in the April 2 election, citing allegations of fraud, but election authorities agreed only to a recount of disputed votes.

Mr Lasso refused to participate in the recount, calling it no more than a show to legitimise a process that has been "anything but transparent".

The Andean nation's presidential election was watched closely in Latin America as an indicator of whether the region would continue to shift right after recent conservative victories in countries including Peru and Argentina.

It was also viewed as a check on Mr Correa's "Citizens' Revolution".

International observers including the Organisation of American States monitored the results on election night and said they found no irregularities, but Mr Lasso's campaign said they had proof of numerous inconsistencies, including ballots with technical errors and missing information.

With the recount now tallied Mr Lasso has exhausted avenues for challenging the results and Mr Moreno is expected to take power on May 24.

AP

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