On Tuesday, observers from CISPES and the SHARE Foundation held a press conference for the Salvadoran media to share their observations and evaluation of Sunday’s election, in which a record number of Salvadorans participated to elect their next president. Voter turnout was over 60% and, according the preliminary results, the winning candidate, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, received the highest number of votes of any candidate in the country’s history (over 1.4 million).
The observer missions included representatives of the National Lawyers Guild, the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, and various labor, religious and academic organizations in the United States.
At the press conference, the international observations highlighted the effective and impartial role that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal played in carrying out a transparent, peaceful and robust democratic process. Download a copy of the the press release (in Spanish) here.
As our observers stated, “Our organizations have observed all of the elections in El Salvador since the signing of the Peace Accords in 1992. We recognize that the 2014 electoral process has been historic for the level of smoothness, regularity and professionalism with which it was carried out,” noting that the March 9th run-off was even more efficient than the first-round election on February 2nd.
“We wish to congratulate the Supreme Electoral Tribunal which, according to our observations, has increased the transparency of the electoral process, not only in terms of the voting process but also the process in which the information was transmitted, which has multiple checks and controls built in.”
The observers noted that any anomalies that they saw on Sunday “were on an individual, not systematic, level, and did not impact the results in a significant way. Considering our total confidence in the process to which we bore witness, we wish to express our serious concerns about combative declarations that have been made by particular sectors, as well as their public questioning of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal as the highest authority on the elections. We will remain vigilant of the situation as we wait for the final results and we hope they will be received [by all parties] in the peaceful and dignified manner that the Salvadoran people deserve.”
The observations of CISPES and SHARE’s missions that the March 9 election echo those of other international observation missions, including those of the Organization of American States, and the initial evaluations by the United Nations and the U.S. State Department.
CISPES’s international election observers are continuing to accompany the process of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal as they carry out the final vote count to provide the official conclusive results of the March 9th elections.