At about 10:45 pm CST, Salvador Sanchez Cerén held a press conference to express his confidence that if the FMLN doesn’t win tonight in the first round, that their margin of victory will increase on March 9th during a possible run-off against ARENA’s Norman Quijano.
He thanked first and foremost, the members of his party, who he said had traversed the country with him and Oscar Ortiz on the campaign train. Everywhere they went, he said, they saw “the happiness in the faces of children, mothers and many others” who believe in the changes underway and the need for them to continue.
He noted that the FMLN had not only run a very clean campaign, but that the Salvadoran people felt safe and free going to the polls today, noting that in the 22 years since the signing of the Peace Accords, democracy is being institutionalized in El Salvador, which generates a strong trust in the system, an promised that he and Oscar Ortize would continue drive this democratic consolidation.
He thanked and congratulated the Supreme Electoral Tribunal for having “guaranteed that the electoral rules were upheld.” He also thanked the Salvadoran press for being models of “objectivity” and “professionalism.”
He also thanked former President Tony Saca, candidate for the Unidad Movement, who he said had called to congratulate not only him but the FMLN for their victory. He noted that Unidad represents an important “new project” in the country and vowed to work with with Saca and other political actors to “unite” leading into a second round, noting that the FMLN government as been one of alliances.
He thanked the international observers and noted the participation and support of several Latin American leaders, including the former presidents of Paraguay, Honduras and Panama, the Vice-President of Guatemala, and well as Nobel Prize Winner Rigoberta Menchú.
He concluded by saying that today is one of happiness for the FMLN, as he celebrations in the streets of San Salvador and across the country attest, and pledged to continue alongside the people, who will be the true actors in the process of profundizando el cambio (deepening the change)!
Update: Immediate following the press conference, the candidate gave a speech at an FMLN celebration in San Salvador. Watch the video here in Spanish.