Hundreds of Ecuadorian and Peruvian citizens stand in line this afternoon at the Fira de Barcelona site to vote, the first of them in the second round of the presidential elections in their country and those of the Andean country in the general elections .
Ecuador celebrates this Sunday presidential elections that are a kind of plebiscite on the figure of Rafael Correa and with uncertainty as a characteristic. The country will have to decide between Correa’s dolphin, Andrés Arauz – who won the first round on February 7 – or the banker Guillermo Lasso . In Spain , almost 180,000 Ecuadorians residing in Spain are registered to vote this Sunday in the second round of these elections, with all the health measures to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
A total of 35,338 Ecuadorian citizens are registered to vote in Barcelona while some 66,790 will do so in Madrid. The vote of Ecuadorians in Spain represents 43% of the total vote abroad.
Voting with protection
From the early hours of the morning, a long queue with hundreds of Ecuadorians has formed at the doors of one of the pavilions of the Barcelona fairgrounds, all wearing their masks and keeping the safety distances that mark the covid-19 pandemic. . All voters have their temperature taken before entering the pavilion and some counselors explain what they have to do to cast their vote in the ballot box.
Although the day has dawned cloudy in the Catalan capital, many Ecuadorians have come to the Montjuïc mountain to exercise their right to vote, which is recognized by the Ecuadorian Constitution of 2008, but is not mandatory. In addition to the queues that zigzag outside the precinct, voters must save others once they enter the interior until they can cast their vote.
In Ecuador, the first hours of election day have passed normally, unlike a first round in which several incidents were recorded. Schools have opened at seven in the morning in the country and many people have queued to take advantage of the day after.
More than 13 million Ecuadorians are summoned to the polls to choose the successor of Lenín Moreno and between two political models. 12.5% of them had already voted at 9:45 a.m. local time. “Hope comes,” said Arauz.
A little further down, in another pavilion of the Fira de Barcelona, there are also long lines of Peruvian citizens who have come to vote in elections in which the president , two vice-presidents, 130 legislators and 5 representatives to the Peruvian Parliament are elected .
People alone, in the company of friends and entire families with children queue to exercise their right to vote, which in Peru is in person and mandatory, but in the case of residents abroad, if it is not exercised, it carries no fine.
There, thousands of Peruvians have gone to polling stations to vote even when the country is in one of its worst moments of COVID-19 infections. In the first hours there have been numerous delays and only 70% of the polling stations were operational two hours after the start of electoral day.
In order to vote in Barcelona, some 56,000 of the more than 150,000 Peruvians who can vote today in all of Spain have registered in a dozen places spread throughout the Spanish geography, most of them concentrated in Madrid, where there are 75,778 registered voters, and Barcelona. Spain is the second country, behind the United States, with the most Peruvian voters.