Members of the US House of Representatives are circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter urging US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to encourage El Salvador's government to take steps which would make possible free and fair elections in 2009. The SHARE Foundation and other organizations are urging interested US citizens to contact their representatives and ask them to sign on to this letter.
From the SHARE website, some of the talking points for contacting Congress would be:
- With the upcoming Municipal, Legislative Assembly, and Presidential elections that will take place in El Salvador on January 18th and March 15th, 2009, I believe the United States can help ensure that the 2009 Salvadoran elections are free, fair, and conducted under the most transparent conditions.
- According to Salvadoran public opinion polls, 54.4% of the population has little or no faith in the 2009 electoral process, and 55% predict fraud in the upcoming elections.
- These will be the most fiercely contested elections in Salvadoran history because the opposition party is leading in public opinion polls, which could lead to changes in long-established patterns of political control.
- I respect the Salvadoran people's sovereign right to choose their leaders, and I believe the US State Department should encourage the Salvadoran government to:
- Encourage domestic and international observation of the entire electoral process;
- Urge political parties to stop the use of deceptive or misleading advertising that aims to sway voters' decisions based on fear and misinformation; and
- Carry out a comprehensive investigation of acts of political violence in the period leading up to elections, on Election Day, and during the post-election transition period.
More information about the letter can be found here. You can use this link for getting contact information for members of the House of Representatives.