In general, I don’t blog about politics, but this week has been quite interesting here in El Salvador. Sunday’s run-off election between the FMLN and ARENA political parties has stretched into a week-long process of protests, ballot recounts, and allegations of fraud.
The week started with both sides declaring victory as tensions mounted. ARENA supporters took to the streets to demand a vote-by-vote accounting of Sunday’s run-off election. Early Thursday morning, the official count was concluded and FMLN candidate Salvador Sánchez Cerén was declared the winner with just over 6,000 votes separating the candidates.
The ARENA party has responded with claims of evidence of fraud in the election, so it is a waiting game to see how and if those claims will affect the official results. In the meantime, the country remains deeply divided.
I have friends all over the political spectrum, and it is clear that deep pain and suspicions remain even 22 years after the end of El Salvador’s civil war. People from all sides still live with the scars and brokenness of that conflict, and the country’s deep divide reflects that reality. But I also know that my Salvadoran friends want the best for their country, and they yearn for peace and prosperity in this beautiful land.
A protest in San Salvador this week