Left-wing candidate Funes projected winner in El Salvador presidential elections

March 13, 2009

SAN SALVADOR – The streets of El Salvador filled with supporters of Mauricio Funes, 49, candidate of the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), after official preliminary results projected him the winner in El Salvador´s presidential election Sunday.

The journalist and ex-guerilla received 51.6 percent of the vote to the 48.4 percent received by conservative candidate Rodrigo Avila, 44, of the ruling Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), with 73.8 percent of the country´s 9,543 polling stations reporting, Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) President Walter Araujo said.

“We have had a transparent, calm, peaceful and massive electoral process,” said Araujo, in an address to the country. Over 18,000 police officers and 2,000 soldiers were deployed to provide security at polling places.

Electoral observers concurred the election took place largely without incident, although the Organization of American States (OEA) reported several instances of foreigners attempting to vote.

An estimated 60 percent of the Salvadoran electorate cast their ballots to elect a successor to President Elías Antonio “Tony” Saca.

If the trend holds, the FMLN will have broken 20 years of ARENA majority control. The latter party has won the last four presidential elections, dating back to 1989.

The FMLN won 35 seats in nationwide legislative elections held in January, giving it a plurality but not a majority in the unicameral legislature. The FMLN also won 95 mayoralties in the Jan. 18 elections.

The FMLN, an umbrella group for left-wing guerilla factions in the 1980s, became a legal political party in 1992, after the signing of the Chapultepec Peace agreement at the end of the country´s civil war, which lasted from 1980 to 1992.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Silvia Baltodano: passion for Costa Rica`s musical theater
Weekend Arts Spotlight
453 views
Weekend Arts Spotlight
453 views

Silvia Baltodano: passion for Costa Rica`s musical theater

Iva Alvarado - October 21, 2018

The curiosity to meet artists at their workspace led me to Silvia Baltodano; an actress, singer, dancer, teacher, activist and…

The future of tropical forests restoration is community led
Environment & Wildlife
1014 views
Environment & Wildlife
1014 views

The future of tropical forests restoration is community led

Fabíola Ortiz - October 21, 2018

The future of restoring tropical forests should not be exclusively in the hands of governments, argues Rebecca Cole, director of…

Five dead in Costa Rica rafting accident
Costa Rica
5593 views
Costa Rica
5593 views

Five dead in Costa Rica rafting accident

AFP - October 21, 2018

Four U.S. tourists and a fifth Costa Rican were killed after a river rafting accident on Saturday, the Red Cross…