Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Representing Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, Maryknoll Sisters, and Maryknoll Lay Missioners
  • Golden calf on Wall Street
  • Sri Lanka children - Jim Stipe
  • Seedbag
  • corn bags
  • Altar in Palestine - R Rodrick Beiler

El Salvador: Call Congress today to stop sabotage of democratic victory

Associated Press, March 13: Sanchez Ceren declared winner of presidential election

The following alert is based on a press release and action alert circulated by CISPES.

On March 9, El Salvador held its presidential election; voter turnout was over 60 percent and, according to preliminary results, the winning candidate, Salvador Sanchez Ceren (FMLN, pictured at right), received the highest number of votes of any candidate in the country’s history (over 1.4 million).

Read this article on 2014 presidential election in March-April 2014 NewsNotes.

Official election observers included representatives of the National Lawyers Guild, the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, and various labor, religious and academic organizations in the United States.

At a press conference on March 11, the international observers highlighted the effective and impartial role that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (Spanish acronym TSE) played in carrying out a transparent, peaceful and robust democratic process.

However, the conservative party, ARENA, is attempting to prevent the official recognition of Sánchez Cerén as the next president of El Salvador. U.S. Congressional allies of ARENA – like Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) - are backing ARENA's attempted electoral sabotage, while the U.S. State Department supports the findings of the TSE.

More voices in U.S. Congress need to weigh in on the side of democracy.

Call the Congressional switchboard [202-224-3121202-224-3121] to connect with your Congressperson's office in Washington, D.C. and ask her/him to:

  1. Make a public statement in support of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and its institutional authority in the electoral process and for the legally-established procedures to be respected.
  2. Call on President Obama to congratulate the winner of the Salvadoran election immediately upon announcement of the final results by the TSE as such action is essential for ensuring that the democratic institutions and processes are upheld.

See if your representative has already taken a stand to support democratic elections in El Salvador: Check this letter, signed by 51 members of Congress, sent to Secretary of State Kerry in December 2013.

When you are connected to your representative’s office, say that you are a constituent and ask to speak with the person who handles foreign affairs issues. Once you are connected to that person, you can use the script below. If the aide is not available, leave a message. CISPES recommends calling back until you speak directly with the staffer.

Script:

Hi, my name is ____, a constituent from [your city]. I’m calling to ask [Representative] to defend the democratic elections that took place in El Salvador last Sunday.

On Sunday March 9 the Salvadoran people went to the polls to exercise their right to choose the next president of El Salvador. The preliminary results showed the FMLN in the lead by over 6,300 votes. The elections authority (TSE) is currently finalizing the vote count according to Salvadoran constitutional and electoral law.

The U.S. State Department, the UN, the Organization of American States, as well as thousands of international and national observers have all commended El Salvador on its free, fair, and transparent elections.

Despite the widespread recognition that this has been the most transparent and democratic elections in El Salvador’s history, the opposition ARENA party, led by presidential runner-up, Norman Quijano is:

  • declaring institutional “fraud” against the Elections Authority (TSE).
  • repeatedly walking out of the final vote count, delaying the official declaration of president that should have been announced on Wednesday March 12.
  • demanding a ballot-by-ballot recount AND to have the March 9 election results annulled before the official results have been declared.

It is extremely important for Congress to take action in support of free fair elections in El Salvador and to ensure that attempts by the losing party to undermine these elections are not legitimized in anyway.

[ONLY USE IF YOUR REPRESENTATIVE IS ONE OF THE 51 SIGNERS OF THE DECEMBER LETTER: Congressperson ____ has already committed to support free and fair elections in El Salvador and we are asking s/he reaffirm their support by…]

I ask that the Congressperson:

  1. Make a public statement in support of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and its institutional authority in the electoral process and for the legally-established procedures to be respected.
  2. Call on President Obama to congratulate the winner of the Salvadoran election immediately upon announcement of the final results by the TSE as such action is essential for ensuring that the democratic institutions and processes are upheld.

Thank you.

For breaking elections news and updates on the elections check the El Salvador elections blog.

Region: 
Issues: 
Tags: