Monday, March 02, 2015

El Salvador's elections -- what we know now

Here is a round up of what we know about the results of Sunday's elections in El Salvador for mayors and legislators:

The official computer system of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) for compiling and disseminating preliminary results completely broke down.  The TSE has announced that it is giving up on the process of even having preliminary results.   The process of the final scrutiny of some 31,000 vote tally sheets (actas) will begin Tuesday afternoon in San Salvador.   That process could reportedly take two weeks.


Although the TSE has not published any results, the major political parties, through their networks of vigilantes and poll workers at every polling table, have their own vote tallies.   Based on those tallies, we know who won the race for mayor in several cities after the losers conceded.

The biggest prize was the capital San Salvador which was captured, as expected, by the FMLN's Nayib Bukele, the current mayor of Nuevo Cuscatlan.   ARENA and its candidate Edwin Zamora graciously conceded on Monday evening.   Bukele's vote total may have been much closer than most of the recent polls were predicting, however.

In Santa Tecla, the upcoming beatification of Oscar Romero was not enough to prevent the son of the man who ordered Romero's assassination from becoming mayor.   Roberto D'Aubuisson, Jr. won Santa Tecla for ARENA after years of rule by the FMLN.

Another city which changed hands was San Miguel in the east of the country.   Long time mayor Will Salgado of GANA lost to Miguel Pereira of the FMLN.

There is much less information about the deputies in the National Assembly and even less about deputies to PARLACEN.   Sources from the FMLN and ARENA each claimed their party had won 36 spots in the 84 seat National Assembly, but I think it is too early to put much faith in such numbers yet.

The real heroes were the more than 100,000 poll workers on Sunday who arrived at their tasks at 5 in the morning and had to work into the wee hours of the next morning counting ballots.   Their hard work will produce election results which are trustworthy and transparent in El Salvador.  We may just have to wait several days to learn what all those results are.

Nayib Bukele claims victory as mayor of San Salvador
  

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