Reassessing El Salvador’s Political Transparency
March 10, 2015
Results from El Salvador's congressional and municipal elections led by the Salvadoran government were put to question, with tallies from both ruling political parties showing conflicting results. Unsurprisingly, each party — oppositionists, the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) and the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) — claimed election results were in favor of their own candidates.
With 84 Legislative Assembly seats and 262 mayoral posts at stake, integrity seems to have lost its incentive in the moment when it was most needed.
2.6 million Salvadorans were present and voting at the 2014 elections; however there is significant reason to doubt the legitimacy of the results when considering:
- 19 municipalities were completely left out of the voting process due to unavailable voting equipment and materials
- Only 62,500 of the 125,000 total test ballots were loaded and tallied by El Salvador\'s electronic voting system
- Satisfaction with the FMLN party — which is led by the former Marxist guerrilla commander Salvador Sánchez Cerén — is unlikely; the country\'s murder rate has risen by nearly 60% over the past twelve months
Ironically, this same country received a $277 million grant from the United States Millennium Challenge Corporation in recognition of its dedication and progress towards political rights, personal liberties, transparency, government efficacy and effectiveness of the legal system and regulation of corruption. Events such as these should be indicators for our government to have a more strict process of evaluating whether a country meets the democratic standards held by the United States.
Source: Roger F. Noriega, "El Salvador's Botched Election Casts Doubt on US Aid Eligibility," American Enterprise Institute, March 6, 2015.
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