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.
A former Marxist guerrilla leader won El Salvador’s presidential election by less than 7,000 votes, final results showed on Thursday, and his right-wing rival continued to press to have the vote annulled. Salvador Sanchez Ceren of the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), which as a militant group fought a string of U.S.-backed governments in a 1980-1992 civil war, won 50.11 percent support in Sunday’s vote, results showed. Challenger Norman Quijano, the 67-year-old former mayor of San Salvador and candidate of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (Arena) party, had 49.89 percent support. He has filed a claim to annul the election due to fraud. The electoral tribunal’s president, Eugenio Chicas, said the five-member court unanimously validated the election results, showing that Sanchez Ceren beat Quijano by 6,364 votes.
The top commanders of El Salvador’s armed forces said Wednesday they will stay out of a presidential election dispute that pits a conservative candidate against a former leader of the leftist rebels the army fought in a 12-year civil war. Conservative ARENA party candidate Norman Quijano is organizing Venezuela-style protests against preliminary returns from Sunday’s ballot that gave leftist candidate Salvador Sanchez Ceren a razor-thin 0.2-percent margin. Quijano claims fraud was committed but he has presented no evidence. Quijano had called on the army to defend against the alleged fraud, but the defense minister, Gen. David Munguia Payes, and the army’s top commanders said at a news conference that they’re staying out of the dispute. “We are committed to respecting the official results that are issued by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal,” Munguia Payes said. “We repeat that we are committed to strictly respecting the sovereign decision that the people of El Salvador expressed at the ballot box.”
A recount of the results of El Salvador’s presidential election will be completed no sooner than Thursday, the country’s election authorities said Tuesday, following a surprisingly close run-off vote over the weekend. Fewer than 7,000 votes separated former guerrilla commander Salvador Sanchez Ceren from conservative rival Norman Quijano, according to a preliminary count on Monday. Initial results showed that the left-wing candidate Ceren claimed 50.11% of the vote, while Quijano, the right-wing mayor of the capital city, won 49.89% of ballots. While the Supreme Electoral Tribunal said it would not announce a winner before a manual count had been completed, it expressed doubts the preliminary results would be reversed.
A former Marxist rebel commander’s tiny lead in El Salvador’s presidential election is irreversible, the country’s electoral tribunal said on Monday, but his right-wing challenger demanded a full recount, insisting he was the real winner. Salvador Sanchez Ceren of the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), which as a rebel group fought a string of U.S.-backed governments in the 1980-1992 civil war, claimed victory on Sunday after preliminary results showed he had won 50.11 percent support. Challenger Norman Quijano, a former mayor of San Salvador and candidate of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (Arena) party, had 49.89 percent support. The two men were separated by just 6,634 votes.
A former Marxist guerrilla leader looks poised to win El Salvador’s presidential election runoff on Sunday as voters embrace his ruling party’s social programs despite opposition allegations that he plans to veer the country to the radical left. Polls show Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a top leader of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) rebel army during the country’s 1980-92 civil war, with about 55 percent support ahead of the runoff vote, enough to secure his party a second consecutive term. His opponent Norman Quijano, the conservative former mayor of the capital, San Salvador, trails with about 45 percent amid waning support for his right-wing Arena party. Quijano has warned the ex-rebel will move El Salvador to the radical left and bow to the influence of Latin America’s leading U.S. antagonist, socialist-led Venezuela.
A former leftwing guerrilla leader took a strong early lead in El Salvador’s presidential election on Sunday but he could still face a run-off against a conservative rival who wants to deploy the army to fight powerful street gangs, early results showed. Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a rebel commander who rose to the top of the now-ruling leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) during El Salvador’s civil war, had 49.2% support with votes in from about 45.4% of polling booths. His rightwing opponent, former San Salvador mayor Norman Quijano, had 38.9%. If no one wins more than half of the vote, the two leading candidates will go to a run-off on March 9.
Salvadorans vote Sunday in a presidential election that may give former leftist rebels a second chance at government — or return national leadership to the right-wing party that ruled the country for two decades. Opinion surveys have shown an extremely tight race, especially with the entrance of a new third party run by a former conservative president with family members tied to notorious corruption cases. More than 20 years after the end of a civil war in which more than 75,000 people were killed, choices remain stark in El Salvador. When the left won the presidency in 2009 for the first time in modern Salvadoran history, there were high expectations about change and progressive policies after a generation of conservative rule. But many Salvadorans now express disappointment in a country where international drug trafficking has made great inroads, gangs control entire neighborhoods, and economic growth has plummeted.
A right-wing opposition party on Monday led by a slim margin in El Salvador’s general election in which the leftist government of President Mauricio Funes faced a key test of its popularity. With more than 89 percent of precincts reporting, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal said the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) was ahead with slightly over 39.7 percent of the vote. It was closely followed by the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) with 36.8 percent. A conservative coalition named GANA led by ex-president Elias Antonio Saca, a congressional ally of the FMLN, was a distant third with just 9.4 percent of the ballot. Six smaller parties also fielded candidates.
The Salvadorian people on Thursday still awaited the official results of Sunday”s elections, but they have witnessed several allegations of irregularities that have followed the voting. The Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) has not so far issued detailed reports about the development of the process, which was delayed in its beginning and it is expected to end on Friday or Saturday. Vote counting is taking place at an exclusive hotel in San Salvador, and according to press reports, the contract will expire on Friday, forcing to move the process to the TSE building if it takes longer. The police have reinforced security in the hotel, in face of the arrival until Wednesday of many candidates to mayors, generally accompanied by followers, to present allegations of irregularities.
On March 11, El Salvador will hold elections for the country’s legislature and mayors in a test for the former guerrilla-group-turned-governing-party, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN). In 2009, the FMLN won the presidency with the victory of President Mauricio Funes, as well as 35 of 84 congressional seats. This ended the two-decade-long rule of the conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) following the civil war from 1980 to 1992. In the last election, the FMLN also won 96 out of 262 municipalities, but lost the vital mayoralty of San Salvador, which ARENA hopes to keep this year. In this election, the FMLN hopes to win at least 43 seats in order to have a congressional supermajority, but faces fractures within the party, as well as discontent among its base. The country’s legislative agenda could be at stake as the FMLN tries to push through reforms—and ARENA hopes to stop them.
El Salvador’s political parties prepare on Friday the closing of their campaigns when there are just eight days to the municipal and legislative elections on Sunday 11. The first party to announce their activities was the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), which will hold this weekend a caravan that will travel throughout the country. Previously, the general secretary of the FMLN, Medardo Gonzalez said the party is working to expand the number of its deputies in the Legislative Assembly, in which it has 35 seats of 84.