US/Salvadoran Academics Discuss Election Intervention

At a recent meeting in San Salvador between a group of Salvadoran and North American scholars, as well as representatives from institutions like the Procuraduría de Derecho Humanos, it was determined that the United States should not seek to influence in the Salvadoran elections.

The group’s conclusions were summed up in a document that they plan to send to United States media. Their main concerns were: electoral violence, foreign (especially US) intervention, electoral reforms that could lead to fraud, statements made to the US government by Salvadoran officials.

US scholar William Robinson, a participant in the “electoral crossroads in Latin America” meeting, claims the day was a success and that they will continue to strive for democratic, free, and transparent elections with universal suffrage.

 

Article link: Académicos creen que injerencia estadounidense podría afectar elecciones | 27 de Septiembre de 2008 | DiarioCoLatino.com – Más de un Siglo de Credibilidad

Salvadoran Foreign Minister Lobbies in Washington DC

On September 18, 2008, El Salvador’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marisol Argueta, spoke at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), advising that the United States should intervene in the upcoming Salvadoran elections.

In her speech at AEI, she stated that “Losing El Salvador (if the opposition wins) will be a lose-lose situation for the national security of both El Salvador and the United States.” She exhorted the US to “do more” and to “pay close attention.”

Here is a link to the Spanish story in the Salvadoran news source El Faro which also contains a link to the video of the presentation on America Enterprise Institute’s website:

http://www.elfaro.net/secciones/elecciones2009/20080929/elecciones1.asp

 

The SHARE Foundation is sending a petition asking President Saca:

  • To ensure that public employees do not use their positions to influence public opinion on who should win the elections;
  • To ask the Foreign Affairs Minister to explain her statements;
  • To respect the sovereignty of the Salvadoran people to chose their leaders freely.

Click here to see a copy of the letter:

http://www.share-elsalvador.org/Letter%20to%20Saca%20re%20Marisol%20Argueta.pdf

If you are interested in signing the petition, please send your name, city, and state to: sharedc@share-foundation.org

Interview with FMLN party General Coordinator

 In a recent interview with El Faro, FMLN General Coordinator, Medaro Gonzalez addressed the apparent disparities between the platforms of FMLN presidential candidate Mauricio Funes and the party itself. The major issues Gonzalez addresses are:

  • The repeal of the Amnesty Law,
  • The dollarization of the Salvadoran currency,
  • The Free Trade Agreement with the United States/CAFTA. Gonzalez repeatedly defends the party and its candidate citing the need for further communication and problem solving.

 

http://www.laprensagrafica.com/nacion/1144767.asp

  

http://www.elfaro.net/secciones/elecciones2009/20080922/elecciones1.asp

Anna Sanger – SHARE Foundation – Grassroots Education and Advocacy Intern

Election Update

•This Saturday, voter registration for the El Salvador elections closed. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) reported that there are 4,226,000 voters officially registered to vote in 2009. Xiomara Avilés, Electoral Director for the TSE says this figure shows 425, 439 more voters registered than in 2006. The TSE got rid of 10,386 names in the registry that were names that were illegitimately registered, either because they were deceist, no longer qualified, or a mistaken name repeat. The next step for the TSE is to assign voters to voting centers. Voting center placement should be available to the public by the end of December. http://www.laprensagrafica.com/nacion/1143283.asp

 

•The country of El Salvador recently received a slightly lower “score of risk” on its “Standards and Poors” report. The country’s grade slipped from a “BB+ with stable perspective” to a “BB+ with a negative perspective”. The current administration of President Antonio Saca, upon hearing of the downgrade, blamed the threat that a FMLN victory poses in the upcoming elections.

FMLN candidate Muricio Funes calls President Saca’s remarks “irresponsible” and calls on the President to focus on his current roll as the leader of the country that is experiencing financial and social distress.

The lower grade was reportedly due to lack of productivity, accelerating inflation, low technology and social advancement scores.

Analysts agree that the Salvadoran population is experiencing a period of uncertainty due to the upcoming elections. 

http://contrapunto.com.sv/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1022&Itemid=154

Anna Sanger- SHARE Foundation- Grassroots Education and Advocacy Intern

Election Update

The El Salvador Armed Forces (FAES) have promised not to interfere in the elections and furthermore have promised to respect whichever party and candidate wins the regional elections in January and the Presidential elections in March.

The Minister of Defense, Jorge Alberto Molina, confirms the Armed Forces non-partisan status. Molina did acknowledge that there are groups outside of the Armed Forces that are comprised of military veterans that are opposed to the FMLN party and their run for political power.

Molina’s defense of the FAES’s non-partisan stance comes after the ARENA party Presidential candidate Avila spoke to the Association of Military Veterans (AsVem). Avila, using “historical and ideological rhetoric” reminded the veterans of their previous fight against Communism and praised their heroism in the war that ended with the Peace Accords signed by the government and the FMLN party in 1992.

Some veterans fear that the FMLN has plans to dissolve the Armed Forces and the law that grants amnesty to ex-soldiers potentially accused o human rights violations and war crimes in the past civil war. Molinas points out that the El Salvador Constitution ensures the continued existence of the FAES. As for the amnesty law, Molinas highlights the potential for extreme destabilization if such laws are revoked. Ultimately, the Defense Minister hopes for stability and harmony in the Salvadoran government. http://www.elfaro.net/secciones/elecciones2009/20080922/elecciones8.asp

http://www.elfaro.net/secciones/elecciones2009/20080922/elecciones2.asp

http://www.elfaro.net/secciones/elecciones2009/20080922/elecciones9.asp

Brief Election Update

Candidates for the Presidency of the United States recently chose their VIce Presidential running mates causing a media frenzy across the globe. Meanwhile, the presidential candidates in El Salvador are grappling with their ticket (‘formula’) formation as well.  

The candidate for the Frente Farabundo Martí de Liberación Nacional (FMLN) ticket, Mauricio Funes, has chosen Salvador Sánchez Cerén for his running mate, whereas the Alianza Republica Nacionalista (ARENA) president-hopeful, Rodrigo Avila, has yet to chose his vicepresident. The current vicepresident in El Salvador, Ana Vilma de Escobar, is considered the favorite to run alongside Avila.

Funes and Ceren officially signed on as the FLMN candidates on September 2, 2008. The pair became the first to sign in front of the Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE) for the March 2009 election. Funes claims the reason for his rapid enlistment was that they are “ready to govern”.

Although the FLMN candidate remains ahead in the polls, Avila is gaining momentum. The margin between the two men is slipping but it is the 42% of the populace that is still undecided that will  play a crucial role in deciding the election’s ultimate outcome.

Sources/ For more information:

http://www.elfaro.net/secciones/elecciones2009/20080901/elecciones6.asp

http://www.metrolatinousa.com/article.cfm?articleID=54626

http://contrapunto.com.sv/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=990&Itemid=154

 

Anna Sanger- Grassroots Education and Advocacy Intern- SHARE Foundation