February 22, 2024

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The OAS recognized Bugel's victory, but highlighted that the elections were “conducted in conditions unprecedented for El Salvador”.

The OAS recognized Bugel's victory, but highlighted that the elections were “conducted in conditions unprecedented for El Salvador”.
El Salvador's president, Nayeb Bukele, who is running for re-election, greets supporters from the balcony of the National Palace with his wife Gabriela de Bukele, Vice President Felix Ulloa and his wife Lilian Alvarenga de Ulloa (REUTERS / Jose Cabezas)Reuters

(Washington, USA) In last Sunday's election in El Salvador, ““The wide margin between the winning candidate and his opponents leaves no doubt about the outcome of the election.”Although they are marked elections “Unprecedented Conditions” For the country that includes some “Competitive Inequality”, The Election Observation Mission (MOE) of the Organization of American States (OAS) said in its initial report published this Tuesday.

“The elections were unprecedented for El Salvador. One of the main reasons is that this is the first election under emergency rule since the signing of the 1992 peace accord. The second reason is that for the first time since the 1983 national constitution, an acting president is running for an immediate second term,” said Panama's former vice president. According to the report of the mission led by President Isabelle de Saint Malo.

Isabelle de Saint Malo (centre), head of the Mission for Electoral Observation (MOE), Electoral Cooperation Director Gerardo de Icaza and OAS Secretary for Strengthening Democracy, Francisco Guerrero, at a polling station in El Salvador (Photo: OAS)

In the case of a state of emergency, the country's constitution allows the use of these measures, which suspend basic guarantees, for 30 days, which can be extended if the reasons that created it are maintained. Note that there have already been several extensions to the 680 day exception regime.

The work of the OAS revealed that many actors had “their “Concern over repeated extension of emergency rule” Because “it destroys its temporal nature” is understood.

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The EOM reviews Bugel remembers the entire process that led to the President being empowered to register his nomination and how the Constitution Chamber was appointed by the government after the controversial decision to dismiss the current judges.

This move was rejected by the OAS Secretariat and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, as they considered it “Constitutional norms regulating the practice and standards among Americans for removing justice operators have been violated.”.

The current president and re-election winner in El Salvador, Nayeb Bugele (EFE/Bienvenido Velasco)

The OAS task force also questioned the government's amendment of the Criminal Code to include a criminal figure linked to electoral fraud, punishable by 10 to 15 years for “persons who make it difficult to register candidates who meet the requirements established in the laws.” The change was interpreted as more pressure on the Supreme Election Tribunal to implement Bukhel's registration.

“EOM/OAS This rule, in relation to the registration of candidates, Violates US and global standards on the independence of the judiciary and electoral systems. Pursuant to the principles recognized by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), the Judiciary 'shall have the exclusive power to determine whether within the jurisdiction conferred by law' and 'No. Action will be taken for 'undue or unreasonable interference in judicial process'”.

“The mission considers it The situation described above violates the constitutionality of the supreme electoral authority of the TSE Because, without being the last word on electoral matters, its basic electoral results, such as nomination registration, are subject to the provisions of the Constitution Chamber and criminal regulations that restrict freedom of decision-making,” he added. . report.

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The EOM has also questioned some of the decisions related to financing the election campaign. In El Salvador, political parties are usually financed by the state through a mechanism known as “loan advance demand”.

According to the OAS mission, the process in these elections was very complicated, far beyond what was stipulated by law.

At every session of the Permanent Council of the OAS, El Salvador pretends that no one can express themselves about what is happening in their country, except to comment on the problems of other countries (EFE/Lenin Nolly)

“EOM/OAS confirmed it A combination of these factors created unequal conditions in electoral competition. Likewise, it observed that there was no publicity regarding the value of votes and attempts by political organizations and government officials in advance payment demands,” reads the text of the MOE report.

A report by the de Saint Malo-led MOE said official preliminary results “show presidential candidate Nayeb Bukhel a wide advantage over his opponents” and establish that his new ideas political party “will gain a majority in parliament”.

According to the MOE, “the mandate will provide the possibility that the President of the Republic needs a responsible and deep democratic exercise.” For the OAS, “this will be decisive in guaranteeing the future of democracy in El Salvador.”

The report recalls that both the Inter-American Charter of Democracy and the judgments of the Inter-American Court have established the need to respect the separation of powers.

“The Mission reiterates its findings in this report on actions that can create an environment of self-monitoring for the exercise of rights and freedoms within the framework of the electoral process. However, in general, he observed that political and social actors are able to participate in all stages of the electoral process. Nevertheless, elections in El Salvador are considered more fair, He observed that it is necessary to work for equality and treatment.

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Election Results Exchange System Fails in El Salvador And on election night, citizens should be informed through polling exit polls and information gathered by parties instead of election officials.

In this sense, the OAS warns of weaknesses and bad practices at various stages of the electoral process, which, according to the EOM, affected important aspects such as the fairness of the competition, the transparency of the elections and the trust of some actors.

A voter chooses a ballot during general elections in El Salvador (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)AP

“It is the fundamental duty of the authorities to deliver timely and transparent results by the Election Commission as only these results are official and binding,” the MOE says.

The work identified deficiencies in areas such as the electoral system, overseas voting and the electoral technology implemented to transmit results from polling boards. In this sense, it points to deficiencies in the technical system implemented by the TSE, which adopted unusual unregulated measures such as significant delays during the provisional inspection, prolonged gaps in official information and the manual preparation of face minutes. Widespread failures of the TSE system.