El Salvador Still Counting Votes One Month after Polls

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Espa帽olOne 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聽Court (TSE)聽began opening more than 200 ballot boxes聽in the San Salvador department to determine which party聽obtained the final seat.

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

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“The review in San Salvador could impact” the results, TSE Judge Fernando Arg眉ello T茅llez told press.

According to the official聽results, the CD came 74 votes short of obtaining a single seat in the聽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 Avil茅s 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 Mart铆 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聽discussing聽who will聽chair聽the National Assembly.

According to FMLN deputy Nidia D铆az, GANA and FMLN leaders are聽discussing a rotating system of聽three one-year term chairs, split between the three parties, or聽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聽necessary votes to secure a majority in the 84-seat body.

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

Sources: La Prensa, El Mundo.

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