WOLA Troubled by Lack of Certainty and Technical Failures in El Salvador Elections

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By LatAm Reports Editor

WOLA called on the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) to “guarantee transparency and reliability” in the election results of the February 4 presidential and legislative elections.

The Washington Office for Latin American Affairs (WOLA) expressed on Monday, February 5, its “concern about the lack of certainty and technical failures in the transmission of official election results” in the elections to elect president and deputies in El Salvador.

WOLA called on the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) to “guarantee transparency and reliability” in the results.

On Sunday night, the website where the TSE disseminates the results had a network drop, and until Monday morning, the data remained frozen until 10:01 on the night of the elections, and then showed an update at 5:34 a.m. in which the number of minutes processed for presidential elections doubled to 70.25 percent.

It has been the same TSE that has confirmed difficulties in the transmission of preliminary results, as well as “lack of security paper,” among other incidents reported by electoral prosecutors and departmental boards (JED) and Municipal (JEM).

The rulings forced the Tribunal’s authorities to hold an extraordinary session on Sunday, at which it was decided to instruct the Vote Receiving Boards (JRVs) to draw up the minutes manually for preliminary scrutiny “applying the technology contingency system at tables.”

Meanwhile, Luis Almagro, secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS) said on the social network X (formerly Twitter) that he is waiting for the report provided by the EOM, that is, the mission of electoral observers of the organization, “which has observed the electoral process in a comprehensive manner.”

“We recognize the citizens of El Salvador who have spoken forcefully in the polls by President Nayib Bukele,” he said.

Distrust in the TSE

A January survey by the Center for Citizen Studies at Francisco Gavidia University indicated that more than 60 percent of the Salvadoran population had little or no confidence in the work of the TSE regarding the presidential and legislative elections.

The percentage of mistrust collected by the survey was more than 64 per cent of the population compared to the vote abroad.

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