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10th International Election Observation Mission
CIS has observed every election in El Salvador since the 1992 Peace Accords. For this year’s presidential elections, we
have had a group of observers following the process since October, 2013. CIS’ preliminary report after the first round
of voting was used in training for the municipal electoral authorities as well
as influenced the guidelines for the counting of votes from abroad. For the runoff election on March 9th,
2014, we observed in 4 departments in 8 large, medium and small municipalities
governed by different parties. We also observed in the voting center for Salvadorans
congratulate the Salvadoran people for their overwhelming electoral
participation and commitment to strengthening the democratic process in El
we congratulate the Supreme Electoral Tribunal for the high level of
transparency throughout the electoral process which has contributed to
generating maximum confidence in the announced results.
understand that the second round of elections can be polarizing; however this
is part of the democratic process.
congratulate the FMLN for their prudence and respect regarding the final
scrutiny process and the results.
same time, we want to express our concern regarding the actions of some
candidates and senior officials from the ARENA party who declared themselves
the winners, usurping the authority of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. We condemn the belligerent declarations of
the presidential and vice presidential candidates of ARENA, which could incite
the use of violence, military and police intervention to defend their
antidemocratic assertion of power.
at the polls was orderly and more efficient during the second round due to the
experience acquired during the first round of voting.
tension was palpable and there was plenty of fear and intimidation campaigning
before the second round of elections.
days before the elections, employees of ARENA mayors organized protests,
closing principle arteries of the country with the intention to provoke
violence and compare El Salvador with the disturbances in the streets of
messages were received the evening of Saturday March 8th, from the
number 7841-1268 with the following message:
“THINK ABOUT THIS, the attorney general confirms that the FMLN
Government has paid the gangs for a truce that has caused the increase in
delinquency, disappearances, assaults and extortions. PASS THIS ON”. This message was sent to various phones
including four of our observers.
Observations of the Process
- The voting center organization
- The location of the voting
booth was adjusted to improve the flow of voters in the voting centers.
- The party monitors did not take
over the poll workers’ jobs, as happened in the first round. However, at least in Santa Tecla and San
Salvador, some party monitors acted as guides inside the voting centers
and were observed attempting to influence the vote.
- It was more efficient to have
four instead of three poll workers at each table. This improved the distribution
of the responsibilities at the polling station. Despite this there was some confusion in
the role of the first and second chair.
- The incorrect location of the
table top voting booth, in voting centers in Sensuntepeque, continued to violate
the secret vote.
- Papers were distributed to
citizens with their poll number and FMLN and ARENA propaganda. These papers were given to the poll
workers together with people’s identity documents (DUI), which violated
the secret vote. (Tonacatepeque, Mejicanos)
- Poll workers had markings,
although not partisan, which identified the parties at the polling station
(for example blue or green ribbons).
- The Supreme Electoral Tribunal
took steps to guarantee the respect for the LGBT community so that they
could vote without fear. This sent
a message of tolerance toward gender identity and respect for human
- The police were very respectful
and maintained security without intimidation.
- The members of the police voted
in the run off, although there were some occasions when they did not
present their police ID card.
- The member of the Legislative
Assembly for the department of Cabañas, Carlos Armando Reyes Ramos spent
one hour campaigning inside the voting center Victoria School in Victoria,
Cabañas. He also prohibited the CIS
observer from taking his picture.
- In the voting center Albert
Camus there were obvious attempts by the ARENA party to influence the vote
that included gifts. Some gifts
were water, the newspaper La Prensa Grafica, Tupperware, wheelchairs,
- We denounce the sale of alcohol
by street vendors at the Redondel Masferrer on Sunday March 9th
in the evening, during the FMLN’s celebration. This happened with police presence.
- Improved instructions for
counting the votes from abroad reduced the number of nullified votes.
- We congratulate the JEVEX for
making an agreement for the second round regarding issues associated with
opening the blue envelopes. They took the CIS recommendations to count the
votes when the information form was sent inside the white envelope. In addition they agreed to count the
vote when the information form was from the first round and the ballot from
the second round. They also made recommendations with regards to being
more flexible on the signatures, as one is handwritten and the other is
the law by not permitting any party influence on voters inside or outside
that the party representatives acting as guides within voting centers abide by
the law by remaining at least 100 meters away from the voting center entrance.
Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) should take steps to improve voter orientation
and remove party influence by having at least one TSE representative providing
orientation within each voting center.
need to be clarified regarding laminated identity cards.
the law regarding members of the police force voting before 7a.m. and needing
to present their identity card as well as their police identification.
the public education campaign to have voters verify the location of their
voting center and focus such campaigns on rural communities.