El Salvador Still Counting Votes One Month after Polls


EspañolOne month after polls took place, El Salvador’s rival parties are still disputing the results of the Central American country’s national elections.

On Wednesday, March 25, the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) began opening more than 200 ballot boxes in the San Salvador department to determine which party obtained the final seat.

The Democratic Change (CD) party challenged an initial vote count after the results in the race for congress in the department were published on Sunday, March 22, almost one month after the election date.

“The review in San Salvador could impact” the results, TSE Judge Fernando Argüello Téllez told press.

According to the official results, the CD came 74 votes short of obtaining a single seat in the Legislative Assembly, while the number of annulled votes was roughly 350.

Mauricio Vargas of the National Republican Alliance (ARENA) party has already proclaimed himself winner, but the CD’s Douglas Avilés refused to concede victory without a recount.

A victory for Vargas would bring the total of ARENA assembly seats to 35. According to the interim official results, the ruling party Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) has 31 seats, and the Grand Alliance for National Unity (GANA) party has secured 11.

While the final tally is yet to be confirmed, leaders of the three leading parties have been discussing who will chair the National Assembly.

According to FMLN deputy Nidia Díaz, GANA and FMLN leaders are discussing a rotating system of three one-year term chairs, split between the three parties, or two 18-month term chairs between themselves. ARENA meanwhile claims the right to chair the body having won a plurality of seats.

Nevertheless, no single party obtained the necessary votes to secure a majority in the 84-seat body.

Salvadorans voted on March 1 to elect the 84 members of the Legislative Assembly, 20 deputies to the Central American Parliament, and 262 mayors and city council members.

Sources: La Prensa, El Mundo.

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