El Salvador Election Observers Challenge Changes Made by the TSE 

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By LatAm Reports Editor

The Solidarity Exchange Centre (CIS) presented its observation report after the electoral elections on Sunday, February 4.

The observer mission of the Center for Exchange and Solidarity (CIS) presented on Tuesday morning its report on the electoral observation made to the presidential and legislative elections that took place last Sunday in El Salvador.

According to the institution, those who were in ten districts and five departments at the national level, many of the recommendations they make are around decisions taken by the Legislative Assembly and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) made decisions despite the regulations that rule that there can be no changes in the electoral system a year before the contest.

Brenda Pfahnl, an electoral observer, said that presidential candidate Nayib Bukele announced his victory and the obtaining of 58 deputies for the ruling party very early on Sunday night, when the preliminary count of votes was not yet beginning in many places in the country.

He added that, although it’s obvious that Mr. Bukele won the election, this statement worries us about the lack of official results and transparency in the vote counting.

He said that in the 10 municipalities they observed, the ruling party took about 85% of the vote to president, but on average only 60% of the votes for deputies, far from the 96% of the votes that the presidential candidate declared.

CIS observer Stephanie Nodine said allowing changes to electoral rules until a day before the election led to abrupt changes in this election cycle.

“They were approved without debate, and improvisedly, including the reduction of the number of deputies; reduction of the number of mayors and municipal councils; elimination of the residual counting system to allocate seats to the Legislative Assembly, attacking the pluralistic character of parliament, guaranteed by the Constitution; and the creation of an improvised law for voting abroad, without analyzing possible failures that could result in the process,” Nodine said.

Cesia Guardado, an observer for the CIS, said that the vote was counted twice in favor of the ruling party in places like Tonacatepeque, counting a vote for the flag and another for the faces of the candidates.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in La Prensa Grafica