President Funes exposes illegal campaigning by ARENA, plan to bring in voters from Honduras

Today in national media, President Funes denounced a series of legal violations by the right-wing ARENA party in an attempt to win votes in the days immediately preceding the election. Funes showed photos of ARENA legislator Mario Valiente and ARENA party members campaigning at the International Airport on Friday night, in flagrant violation of the electoral code, which states that, after the close of the campaign, no candidate or party can ask for someone’s vote. After the close of the campaign on March 2, the only body that can encourage people to vote is the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE). The President also shared information about an effort by ARENA to bring in voters from Honduras with falsified Salvadoran voter IDs. In response, over 5,000 soldiers were dispatched to border regions to prevent non-Salvadorans from participating in tomorrow’s election. (Read the President’s communication in Spanish here) This is a significant change from past elections, in which the defense of the vote fell largely to the population, as in 2009, when FMLN members blocked the borders themselves, turning away buses trying to enter from neighboring countries.

Funes also stated that ARENA is violating the law by encouraging the renewal of DUIs (voter ID card), “on the premise that those who didn’t vote during the previous election will cast their vote for the right-wing party.” According to reports, ARENA has been handing out pre-paid bank receipts for people to take to the DUI renewal centers.

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