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.

You may be interested

Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto Rico
Weather
271 views
Weather
271 views

Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto Rico

John McPhaul - December 13, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the horrendous 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact
Weather
1454 views
Weather
1454 views

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact

John McPhaul - December 12, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the devastating 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…

Cold front claims fourth victim in Costa Rica
Weather
4088 views
Weather
4088 views

Cold front claims fourth victim in Costa Rica

Katherine Stanley - December 12, 2017

High winds claimed the life of a fourth victim in Costa Rica as the cold front that has been moving…