Call NOW to Defend the People's Victory!
Just after 1:30am this morning, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal announced the final count from Sunday's elections, giving a decisive victory to the leftist FMLN party over right-wing ARENA (50.11% to 49.89%). Over the past three days, ARENA has tried (almost) every trick in the book to prevent the FMLN's Salvador Sánchez Cerén from being named president - from calling on the armed forces to defend their false "victory" to initiating legal measures to annul the entire election. Ultraconservative US allies of ARENA – like Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen - are already backing ARENA's attempted electoral sabotage. Though the State Department has shown public support for the Tribunal, we need more voices in Congress weighing in on the side of democracy, reinforcing the State Department's position and keeping ARENA politically isolated from international support. With ARENA's legal challenges to the election still pending, the next few days will be critical to ensuring that Sánchez Cerén can take his rightful place as the next president of El Salvador on June 1.
TAKE ACTION TODAY!
- Make a public statement in support of the institutional authority of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and for El Salvador's legally-established electoral procedures to be respected
- Call on President Obama to congratulate the President-elect once the winner has been officially declared by the Electoral Tribunal in the coming days, as such action is essential for ensuring that El Salvador's democratic institutions and processes are upheld
1) Check here to see if your Representative has already taken a stand to support democratic elections in El Salvador. 2) Call the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to speak with your Rep and the Capitol operator will connect you to your Congressperson's DC office. When you get connected to your Rep's office, tell the secretary that you are a constituent and ask to speak with the person in the office who handles foreign affairs issues. 3) Once you are connected to that person, you can use the script below. If the aide is not available, leave a message with the specific demands listed below. We recommend calling back until you speak directly with the staffer. 4) Click here to Invite your friends to call Congress too and to join our grassroots response network for future actions to uphold this democratic victory in El Salvador. Script: Hi my name is ________ a constituent from [your city] to ask [Representative name] to defend the democratic elections that took place in El Salvador last Sunday. On Sunday March 9th the Salvadoran people went to the polls to exercise their right to chose the next President of El Salvador. After three days of formal scrutiny by all the parties, the final results were released, showing a clear victory for the FMLN party. The US State Department, the UN, the Organization of American States, as well as thousands of election observers have all commended El Salvador on its free, fair, and transparent elections and on the efficiency and impartiality of the Electoral Tribunal. Despite the widespread recognition that this has been the most transparent and democratic election in El Salvador’s history, the opposition party, ARENA, and the losing candidate Norman Quijano have been trying to sabotage the elections. ARENA has accused the Electoral Tribunal of committing institutional fraud, for which they have presented no evidence. They also called on the Armed Forces to defend their "victory " before the ballots were fully counted. Furthermore, before the official results were even declared on Tuesday, they demanded to have the March 9 election results annulled; this legal challenge is still pending. It is extremely important for Members of 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. [If your Representative signed the Dear Colleague letter: Congressperson ____ has already committed to support free and fair elections in El Salvador and we are asking s/he reaffirm their support by….] Will the Congressperson: 1) Make a public statement in support of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and its institutional authority in the electoral process? 2) Call on President Obama to congratulate El Salvador's president-elect as soon as the Electoral Tribunal declares the winner? Such action is essential for ensuring that the country's democratic institutions and processes are respected and upheld. ¡Que viva la democracia soberana del pueblo salvadoreño! Long live the Salvadoran people's sovereign democracy! For breaking elections news and updates read the El Salvador Elections Blog and like us on Facebook.