As it has since El Salvador’s first elections post-Peace Accords in 1994, SalvAide once again will be present alongside Salvadorans as they express their democratic will in the 2 February Presidential election.
Our 8-person strong team – drawn from Ontario, Québec, British Columbia, and New York – will join the broader Center for Exchange and Solidarity (CIS) International Observers Mission. The CIS is a Salvadoran civil society expert in elections observation and has been a long-time SalvAide partner for elections monitoring.
Observers will learn about El Salvador’s socio-political context, the arduous fight against impunity, and the committed struggle to keep out Canadian gold mining companies. Following rigorous training and accreditation with El Salvador’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the CIS mission will fan out across the country to witness and document the electoral process on 2 February. This election pits the incumbent FMLN against two right-wing opponents, ARENA and its offshoot, UNIDAD. While most polls place FMLN Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates, Salvador Sánchez Cerén and Oscar Ortíz, respectively, ahead of their competitors, the election may come down to a run-off on 9 March between the top two vote-getters from 2 February (the winner must earn 50% + 1 share of the vote). However, recent polls show the FMLN trending toward a possible first-round victory.
Our partners in El Salvador, CRIPDES and CORDES, have been engaging people at the grassroots in more than 380 communities through participatory civic education to contribute to free and conscientized ballot casting. They encourage collective reflection on community needs and aspirations, on what builds greater social justice, and on the political platforms that best reflect these. In a country where the economically poor majority has been historically excluded from the halls of power, our partners’ work is vital to the daily struggle for a more truly democratic El Salvador.
Check back on SalvAide's website, Facebook, and Twitter for updates on the elections monitoring mission. As always, should you wish to support our work, please consider making a charitable donation by clicking here.