According to El Salvador’s electoral authority, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) party has been sanctioned for violating electoral regulations more than any other party. Eugenio Chicas, President of the TSE, told the press, “The ARENA party has received 29 complaints and the UNIDAD Movement has around 7 complaints.”
Most recently, the TSE required that ARENA stop airing a TV commercial they determined slandered the leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) candidate Salvador Sánchez Cerén, who is also the current Vice-President of the country.
The commercial, titled “A Message to the Vice-President” claims that Sánchez Cerén and his government are responsible for the high levels of violence and that they made pacts with El Salvador’s notorious street gangs, an accusation that current president Mauricio Funes has “categorically denied.” Furthermore, Funes said the ARENA party could face criminal charges for falsifying the government documents they claim are evidence of their accusation.
The commercial is part of ARENA’s campaign for their presidential candidate Norman Quijano. Ever since the party hired the notorious right-wing Venezuelan campaign adviser J.J. Rendón, famous for his use of “rumorology,” their campaign began to shift focus to aggressive accusations against the current government and the other candidates.
ARENA continued airing the sanctioned commercial after making some minor changes, but under further pressure from the TSE has finally taken it down.