Elections observers note commitment to democratic ethics
Contact: Laura Embree-Lowry (202) 521-2510
On Friday, February 20, representatives of CISPES' 2015 electoral observation mission held a press conference in San Salvador to share their initial impressions of El Salvador's March 1 legislative and municipal electoral process.
The team highlighted several advances that have been made in recent years to promote increased participation in the democratic process, including a dramatic increase in the number of neighborhood voting centers, new measures to ensure accessibility for LGBTI voters and voters with disabilities, and new requirements that all political parties that women make up at least 30% of their candidates. CISPES observers also noted the "responsibility and professionalism" with which the Supreme Electoral Tribunal has been carrying out its work, recognizing the Tribunal's role in having made last year's Presidential election "the most transparent since the signing of the Peace Accords." In particular, the observers highlighted recent actions by the Tribunal, including the decision to exclude a number of candidates for failure to meet requirements, as "positive demonstrations of the Tribunal’s commitment to jurisprudence and democratic ethics."
Despite concerns about a series of last-minute rulings by the Supreme Court's Constitutional Chamber to significantly change El Salvador's voting process, the observers concluded, "We are going into these elections with the confidence that El Salvador’s electoral system continues to advance ... and we make a call to all actors in Salvadoran society to respect the process and the country’s democratic institutions." CISPES has observed every election in El Salvador since the signing of the 1992 Peace Accords.