El Salvador Presidential Election Overview
In the preliminary count of the El Salvador’s presidential elections by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), the incumbent president, Nayib Bukele, has emerged as the leader. Bukele has amassed a total of 1,662,313 votes, which equates to a commanding 70.25% of the votes counted so far. This count, however, has not been smooth sailing, as the TSE acknowledged difficulties in transmitting the results from various voting centers.
Bukele’s Anticipated Lead
These initial results, pending ratification through a final count involving physical minutes, suggest that President Bukele has a significant lead over his competition. This final count process can span several days, but if these preliminary figures hold up, Bukele is poised to have a decisive advantage over his opponents.
Opposition Parties Performance
Trailing President Bukele are parties like the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN, left-wing) with 139,025 votes, and the National Republican Alliance (Arena, right-wing) with 122,926 votes. These parties, along with others such as Nosso Tempo (NT), Força Solidária, and Força Patriótica Salvadorenha, are all currently behind the ruling party, Novas Ideias (NI), which Bukele represents.
Remote Voting and Preliminary Statistics
Novas Ideias has also shown dominance in remote voting from abroad, both online and in person. However, the electoral body has yet to provide preliminary statistics on the total number of voters and abstentions.
Challenges in the Transmission of Preliminary Results
On the morning of Monday (5), the electoral body acknowledged several challenges that hindered the transmission of preliminary results from the voting centers. This led to the agreement to manually issue the minutes.
Allegations of Irregularities
Reports of irregularities in the transmission of ballots during the counting process have also been circulating on social media. Some polling stations were still counting votes until Monday morning.
Electoral Court’s Capabilities Questioned
Celia Medrano, the vice-presidential candidate for the Nosso Tempo party, expressed her doubts about the Electoral Court’s capabilities. She claimed that the Court was unable to verify the publicly announced data, which was based on proof of voting ballots versus the system electronic device that reportedly failed universally.
Bukele’s Victory Declaration
Despite the lack of official data, President Bukele declared victory on Sunday night (4), claiming to have won more than 85% of the votes. He also announced that his party, NI, would continue to dominate the Legislative Assembly, holding 58 out of 60 seats. However, the Electoral Court has only officially processed 5% of the legislative vote counts.
Anticipated Impacts of Bukele’s Re-election
If Bukele’s re-election is confirmed, he will become the first president of El Salvador to be re-elected. This will allow him to continue his campaign against criminal groups through an exceptional regime that he implemented in March 2022. This measure, which has significantly reduced the number of homicides in the country, has boosted Bukele’s popularity and helped him secure victory in both the presidential and legislative elections held on Sunday.
At just 42 years old, President Bukele’s anticipated re-election and his measures against crime have made him a popular figure in a country that has long been considered one of the most violent in the world. His victory in the recent elections is seen as a testament to his efforts in improving the safety and security of the nation.