This morning, US Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated Salvador Sánchez Cerén for his election as president of El Salvador [full text after the jump]. The international solidarity community celebrates this important recognition of the decision made by Salvadoran voters at the polls on March 9th in elections the Organization of American States and the United Nations have applauded as highly transparent and fair. The US Embassy in El Salvador reiterated Kerry’s congratulations in a statement published on Twitter.
In the wake of El Salvador’s tight March 9th Presidential elections, the country’s national commercial media, always notoriously conservative, have become active agents in spreading confusion and misinformation generated by the ARENA party in its quest to undermine El Salvador’s democratic institutions. The media’s complicity in ARENA’s campaign to contest the election results and generate political instability have drawn sharp criticism from across Salvadoran civil and political society. Continue reading
Members of ARENA’s executive committee just held a press conference declaring victory. When the press conference was held, 77.16% of voting tables were reporting, and the FMLN lead over ARENA, but only by 0.16%. According to the Director of El Faro, Carlos Dada, “It is very irresponsible for a political party to declare victory at this point.”
The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) held a press conference about an hour ago, in which they said no tendency had yet been established, and called on the Salvadoran people and political parties to remain calm and await the final results.
This has raised concerns that ARENA will not respect the final results as announced by the TSE.
On Monday March 3, during a celebration to commemorate International Women’s Day hosted by the first Lady and Secretary of Social Inclusion Vanda Pignato, FMLN presidential candidate Salvador Sánchez Cerén signed the “Defense of Women’s Civil and Political Rights Agreement.” Sánchez Cerén committed to continuing and further developing the programs started under the Funes government which benefit the rights of women and their full participation in politics.
Neither Norman Quijano nor his running mate René Portillo Cuadra were present at the event. Quijano justified the ARENA presidential ticket’s absence by saying many of the agreement’s components violate the party’s Christian principles. “When it mentions [in the agreement] that a woman’s body is her own, […] it’s saying that she can dispose of the fetus in her body, and that’s giving abortion the green light,” stated Quijano. He additionally cited a section that gives people “the right to marry whom they choose” as a potential pro-gay marriage statement, one which he could not support. Continue reading
(re-posted from NACLA website)
This Sunday, March 9th, El Salvador will elect its next president in a run-off election. The candidate for the leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), Salvador Sánchez Cerén, has a strong lead over right wing candidate, Norman Quijano, from the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA); polls show the FMLN with up to a 16-point margin (CID-Gallup, February 19). This moment is something of a dreamscape for those who set down their weapons just over 22 years ago when the 1992 Peace Accords were signed. When the guerrillas came down from the mountains and the military stopped hunting its citizens and the U.S. government stopped signing checks to fund the military, those on the left wondered if the moment for real political change had passed. Continue reading
With the leftist FMLN party soaring in the polls as the March 9th presidential runoff election rapidly approaches, right-wing opposition party ARENA and its allies have been amping up their red-baiting scare tactics.
this sign appeared in San Salvador a day before the elections; it reads: “a vote for the FMLN is a vote for the gangs”
photo: diario La Pagina
Following ARENA’s historic loss on February 2nd, the party’s official campaign took a jolly turn away from its traditional fear-mongering, Cold War style, instead promising “more and better social programs” begun under the current FMLN government and employing a softer, centrist tone. In the wake of ongoing right-wing destabilization and violence in Venezuela, however, the party has returned to its comfort zone, airing television spots perpetuating the misinformation campaign around Venezuela and threatening “21st century socialism,” violence and shortages of basic goods should the FMLN be elected to the presidency. The ad was so provocative that the Venezuelan ambassador to El Salvador wrote to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, calling the ad an inappropriate “intervention into the affairs of our country” and asking for its removal. Continue reading
FMLN Cierre de Campaña
As El Salvador’s March 9th runoff election between the leftist FMLN and right-wing ARENA approaches, both parties are honing their campaign strategies. As the FMLN looks to increase the 10-point margin of victory over ARENA achieved in the first round of elections on February 2nd through new cross-sector alliances, ARENA is scrambling to recover from receiving the fewest votes since the party’s founding over 30 years ago. Continue reading