Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mauricio Funes wins historic election in El Salvador


All indications tonight are that Mauricio Funes, the former television journalist, achieved victory today in the presidential elections in El Salvador. Very early on, the election returns being reported by the media showed that the candidate of the leftist FMLN had garnered support throughout the country sending red clad FMLN supporters into the streets to celebrate and sending the conservative ARENA party to defeat for the first time in two decades. By 8:45pm El Salvador time, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal had released results showing Funes with 51.6% of the vote and Avila with 48.4%. This reflected a tally of 73% of the votes.

Funes will assume the presidency of a country with many problems. Among those problems are high levels of crime and violence and an economy that does not provide jobs sufficient to support a large percentage of Salvadoran families. He will have a divided government -- the FMLN will have a plurality in the National Assembly, with conservative ARENA and PCN having a potential majority coalition.

The country is highly polarized as a result of an election campaign which featured nonstop negative campaigning by ARENA.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

In $edia room. Waiting for funes to come out for speech. Divided country indeed. Years to do, years to undo.

Anonymous said...

Pevoious post was the anonymous jose

Anonymous said...

Do we know which areas are yet to report vote totals? How certain is this result? Seems too close to call yet...with more than 25% of the vote still out there, no?

Latin American Musings said...

Great work today Tim. I relied on you (as well as some other sites) for news today. I wish for great things in the future. As Jose mentioned, the country is divided - but I hope Salvadorans can celebrate and move forward.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the updates Tim - I heavily relied your site for coverage. Canada supports Funes and are pleased with these results, change has now come to El Salvador.

Anonymous said...

I am glad the government will finally transition to another party. Perhaps some good will come out of this.
I have waited many years to see what FMLN can do.

Anonymous said...

Tim Great blog as others have said i always check your blog for the most non biased updates of my country , and happy to see funes's win.
Camilo
salvadorian in australia.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tim for your great work!

Teri said...

Thank you Tim for a great blog. My partner is one of those observers. Your blog really helped me keep abreast of this awesome day. Again, thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

Is time of new hopes, the red map is increasing the extension with news ways of social justice and respect for human dignity in Centro and Latin America.

Anonymous.

Marisa said...

Tim,

Thanks for being our one stop source on the elections and for running an excellent and intelligent blog! This is a special day and words can't describe the emotion that we feel. Its time to get to work and change has come to El Salvador as well!

Anonymous said...

Tim:

Thank you for your excellent work...

Thank you,
Guevara

inner-self said...

it was about time, el salvador neede this!!! it's time for new beginnings now. funes offers sound leadership and the country desperately needs to start looking up on the national front as far as public safety, education and the local economy is concerned. best wishes to funes and his team and hope this also turns out to be a great success for el salvador as a nation as a whole.

Anonymous said...

I guess we will be seeing Chavez and his comrade buddies visiting in the next couple of weeks .

A truly Sad Day for El Salvador !!!

Anonymous said...

A great victory!!!!
US conservatives, business leaders, police and all the media against the FMLN. But the people of el salvador eventually WON!!!!

Anonymous said...

Many people do not understand the concept of having El Salvador governed by a communist party. Many jobs will be demolished, jobs that right now help to sustain the economy of El Salvador. El Salvador does not have petroleum as Venezuela does, to help it on its own. Many do not see that allowing El Salvador along with now Nicaragua become communist countries will not benefit them but will benefit Venezuela. Many do not understand that in Central America Venezuela has alot of petroleum and countries that do not depend on this source such as El Salvador and Nicaragua will have to depend on Venezuelas source. Who is behind all of this? Lets take a moment to think. I just pray to GOD that El Salvador will be in his hands and no one elses.

pija said...

we defeated fear, hope is born, change is coming!
these elections may just as well turn out to be the best thing that can happen to el salvador, because even though it was very close and almost even, arena did eventually show the maturity to respect and accept the outcome of the elections. funes' first response was very positive, and if everyone here stops pointing fingers for a second and start acting like gentlemen, funes's election can actually unite an otherwise divided society. an applause for arena for its act of maturity, that's a great first step. congrats to funes and good luck, he as well as all of us will needed in trying to rebuild el salvador in what has become the defacto peace accords and independence day!

cougar said...

long live latin america!
long live the salvadorian people!

now all you running dogs of yankee imperialism can go live in miami with the rest of that scum
worshiping the gringos....

Anonymous said...

What I have noticed is that Funes didnt thank GOD for his success and when he spoke for the government he said continiously ¨MY Government will.....¨

Gosh I dont like this already.

Anonymous said...

Cougar I hope the emotions expressed by your words are not of all FMLN voters because if so, You are what El Salvadors future holds:(

Anonymous said...

Avila said to all Arena voters that GOD always a plan for things. And that they have to look at the good things that wthey have done. The helped so many poor people during thier campagne. I really liked the fact that he talks and points out GODs work and good will. But he is right, God always has a plan for everything to happen.

Joe said...

I'm very happy for the people I visited back in 2005, who live in the shadow of Guazapa mountain. They fought and died for this chance. If ever there was a country in desperate need of "distribution of wealth", that country is El Salvador. If anyone says that the rich people of ES are hard workers and the poor people are lazy, then that person is a liar. The system is unfair and needs to change. I hope for CHANGE.

Anonymous said...

It is trueley a loss for the people of El Salvador, and the rest of Central America for that matter. He has all the Central American countries wrapped around his finger, with the exception of Costa Rica. Chavez can now do whatever he pleases.

Anonymous said...

Truly a sad day for El Salvador. Let's see how long it will take for Chavez to pay a visit...

Anonymous said...

Change is important and hopefully with time, patience, hard work and understanding by all there will be long overdue turn around, and maybe, just maybe people can live in peace.

Anonymous said...

for all those people using God's holy and sacred name in their comments and especially concerning people think that God may not necessarily like nor enjoy have his Name being tossed around and stained with as worldy, corrupted, mundane and dirty ideas such as politics, especially polarized politics that carries in its conscience the guilt of all those thousands of lives lost. It is a good thing to keep God's name holy and apart from such a rotten subject as it is politics. I hope church and state remain separate.

Sofia said...

I'm truly sadden for what happened yesterday. I fear for my country and for my people. I hope communism doesn't come as quickly as I expect. However I stand strong and I stand beside all of those in opposition. I defended my country and I'm not willing to change my liberty. Half of the Salvadorean people didn't vote for Funes. Half is at opposition, and the diputados from PDC, FDR, and the PCN are allied with ARENA. Democracy will be preserved in El Salvadador. However, I make a call to all those Americans. What are you fighting against in the Middle east? and I'm sorry to tell you this, but you got to be vigilant, because communism was your next door neighbor, now it's in your back yard.

POLYCARPIO said...

I have a few words for Sofia and others who have expressed dismay at the FMLN's win. Kind words, I hope. First of all, I think it's natural to be very disappointed at a political loss. Now you know how leftist supporters have felt in the past four elections. Defeat can build character, and it helps chasten the spirit and to gain some humility, which we all need in politics. We should all accept it as a gift that we are all in need of. Secondly, I think some pessimism is to be extected. At least for El Salvador which has NEVER had a leftist government, this adventure feels like an experiment. I think of the last words of Milton's PARADISE LOST, when Adam and Even leave the Garden of Eden, we are told they cry "some natural tears ... but wiped them soon." Then, they start walking those first tentative steps: "The world was all before them (from) where to choose/Their place of rest, and Providence their Guide:/They hand in hand with wandering steps and slow/Through Eden made their solitary way."

I know this is scary. El Salvador has taken a step into uncharted territory in its history. But, it's natural. In an odd way, I am reminded of George Bush's words to the Iraqis: "You're free!" Use your freedom, exercise your democracy. This must be the greatest consolation to any person of good will who honestly supported ARENA because they believed in liberty and democracy. What good is democracy if we are afraid to exercise it. What good is democracy if you are going to end up with de facto one party rule. In a real democracy, you can choose for change, and if that change is lacking, you can change back. Of course, that remains to be seen. But, there is no need to despair. You can shed "some natural tears" -- but then you wipe them, and you move forward. The world is all before us. We are free to move about the (political) world, and if you believe in democracy, you must have that confidence, and your belief in the power of freedom and choice must be larger than your fear of change or your distrust of the other guy.

Anonymous said...

The Cold War clearly is ancient history for many of the people who have posted today and yesterday. Do any of you even understand what Communism is? Venezuela is not a Communist country. Nothing in Funes' platform or in what the FMLN is calling for is Communist. Are they calling for a controlled, command economy? Are they calling for the elimination of all private property and the organization of all lands into people's communes or collectives? Have they demanded the elimination of opposition parties? None of this has happened in Venezuela and is not going to happen in El Salvador. Please read up on what Communism actually meant in the Soviet UNion or in China before the late 1970s reforms before you try to scare people with these lies. Also, Salvadorans elected the FMLN, God has nothing to do with it so there is no point in thanking him. If there is a God I assume he is busy with other matters.

Will

Guevara said...

Sophia:

The Salvadorean people have defeated FEAR, and now they walk in faith of the new hope that is to come. The people have spoken and they have choosen to be free, and the fact that ARENA is letting the opposition rule for the first time in El Salvador's history, it's admirable.

Sophia, ARENA, PCN, PDC, you are invited to come to the table of democracy, and partake in the fruits of freedom and liberty. As brothers, and sisters of this little yet powerfull nation, you are also need it. Don't listen to the tontos of cougars, but to the fact that in a democracy, both the right and the left need to be partakers for the better of the country and tghe people!!!


Congratulations to Mauricio Funes for being the next President of El Salvador!!!

Anonymous said...

Communism comes from the word common. Which means the same. A communist country has a stateless society based on common ownership. So for example if you want to buy a vacation house somewhere near the islands and another in the mountains but the country doesnt allow to have more than one, than you cant get both. So such things would make the country classless or opressionless wich sounds like a good idea and kinda sounds like heaven on earth to tell you the truth. But can someone tell me how would it fail.

Anonymous said...

I dont think eigther party can be a solution to our problems on earth but a mixture of both can. Basically communism is a strategy used to bring a country back to a better state economically speaking and well the truth is it forces you to share. Supposively we are to share with our brothers but this is a problem too because then the brother doesnt get motivated to work hard, not all by they way because some poor do work hard just like some rich are lazy, but the point is that after these less fortunate individuals are pampered and , again not the hard working ones sorry have to point this out just because u people tend to twist words around, so when they get pampered they loss motivation and therefore dont work hard to become better and instead become independent. This is when a republican government is needed. Most republican believe in hard work but many are also lazy and its the lazy ones that look down to the less fortunate ones because they havent learned the value of a dollar, but the republicans that know about working hard are a good example for the lazy less fortunate. So in overall the lazy less fortunate and the lazy rich ones are the ones that create all these problems in a country that leads to the need to have so many different types of political parties.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the new president of El Salvador. Clearly by looking at the comments posted, a division can be seen. I hope that those who dont really know what communism is learn what it means, and that those who say they know, learn to explain themselves. All in all, hopefully this change will be for the best.

Anonymous said...

LOL..... ok that was funny but out of all comments on this blog its the one that makes more sence ....LOLOLOL