It is already past midnight in Nejapa, El Salvador. Poll workers at the Jose Matías Delgado School voting center, exhausted after having arrived at 5 am, are still arguing over how to fill out the new count sheets introduced for this year’s electoral process. Scenes just like this were repeated all across El Salvador during the March 1st elections. Salvadorans took to the polls in relative calm to cast their ballot for mayors, National Legislative Assembly representatives and Central American Parliament (PARLACEN) legislators. Delayed openings, allegations of vote buying in rural areas and isolated confrontations between voters or poll staff did little to impede the active exercise of suffrage throughout the country. The process was declared broadly transparent by visiting international observation delegations, including that of the Organization of American States (OAS).
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of El Salvador.
One month after polls took place, El Salvador’s rival parties are still disputing the results of the Central American country’s national elections. On Wednesday, March 25, the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) began opening more than 200 ballot boxes in the San Salvador department to determine which party obtained the final seat. The Democratic Change (CD) party challenged an initial vote count after the results in the race for congress in the department were published on Sunday, March 22, almost one month after the election date. “The review in San Salvador could impact” the results, TSE Judge Fernando Argüello Téllez told press.
Four days after El Salvador’s legislative and mayoral elections, voters in the Central American country are still waiting for results as officials allege that the process of transmitting the votes electronically was sabotaged. Julio Olivo, the head of the country’s elections tribunal, said on Thursday that the Attorney General’s office will investigate failures of an electronic system that prevented officials from disclosing preliminary results on Sunday after polls closed. He said Soluciones Aplicativas S.A, a company hired to scan and disclose voting ballots, “could be extracting information and even changing certain things. There was sabotage in the process of transmitting data,” Olivo said on Wednesday. “We are going to prove it in the courts and a bunch of people are going to fall.”
Results for El Salvador’s bungled legislative and mayoral vote will not be available for another 14 days, the president of the country’s electoral authority said on Wednesday, blaming the delay on “sabotage.” Salvadorans on Sunday voted for 84 new lawmakers and mayors who will be in office for the next four years. But three days after the election, there are still no results. “There was sabotage in the transmission of electronic votes and we are going to present it in court and lots of people will be fired,” the president of the electoral authority, Julio Oliva, said at a news conference, adding that he would provide more details on Thursday.
Election authorities in El Salvador decided to skip the customary preliminary vote count and proceed straight to the final count after a series of technical mishaps. Meanwhile, candidates from both the ruling Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) and the main opposition party, the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), have declared victories in key mayoral and legislative races. The delays are fueling suspicions and stoking harsh criticism toward the country’s voting authority, the Supreme Electoral Tribune (TSE).
Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren expressed on Twitter his satisfaction with the municipal and legislative elections carried out on Sunday, and congratulated the people for exerting their right to vote, while the head of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Julio Oliva, said technical failures had caused a delay in voting results. Sanchez Ceren praised the peaceful elections by the Salvadoran people, who he said, believe in democracy. He also called on the citizenship to confide in the preliminary results that the electoral authorities will make public within the next few hours. Olivo called on the citizenship to be “tolerant and understanding,” explaining that reporting on results will depend on “how fast the vote-counting process takes in the 10,621 offices that receive the votes throughout the country.” He explained that computer specialists had been brought in to look into the technical difficulties experienced late Sunday night when preliminary results were expected to begin to flow.
Salvadorans go to the polls on Sunday to elect new legislators and local officials in a tight contest between the ruling Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, FMLN, and the conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance, ARENA, for control of the Legislative Assembly. Voters in El Salvador will also elect 262 new mayors, some 3,000 municipal council members and 20 country representatives for the Central American Parliament. For the first time, voters will be able to select individual candidates from any party rather than being forced to vote for a single party with an established list of candidates. Voters can still opt to simply choose a party.
Political parties in El Salvador formally wrapped up their campaigns Wednesday ahead of local and legislative elections schedule for March 1, 2015. The close of the campaign period gives three days for the population to decide their vote without the influence of the publicity campaigns of the parties. Electors in Latin America’s smallest country will head to the polls to elect mayors as well as representatives to the country’s Legislative Assembly.
El Salvador’s right-wing ARENA party formally accepted on Thursday the victory of leftist Salvador Sanchez Ceren in the March 9 presidential runoff. The announcement came a day after the Supreme Court rejected ARENA’s demand for a manual recount of the ballots. Sanchez Ceren beat ARENA’s Norman Quijano by just 0.22 percentage points. The standard-bearer of the governing FMLN got 1.49 million votes, or 50.11 percent of the total, compared with 1.48 million – 49.89 percent – for Quijano.
El Salvador’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal Monday dismissed opposition claims of irregularities and confirmed the leftist ruling party candidate as president-elect. Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a former guerrilla commander who ran in the March 9 vote, will be presented with his credentials on Tuesday, said the head of the court, Eugenio Chicas.