As El Salvador’s electoral body begins a vote-by-vote count of last week’s election results, The political opposition warned. On Wednesday, they may ask for the results of the legislative elections to be annulled due to irregularities.

No one questions the victory of the hugely popular President Nayeb Bokel, who won re-election with 83% of the vote, but the focus is on the battle for the disputed 60 seats in Congress.

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Control of Congress is crucial for Bokel. He hopes to waive his basic constitutional rights. El Salvador’s War on Gangswhich has given him his growing popularity, and other parts of his agenda.

Bakel had already announced that his Nivas Ideas party had won 58 of the 60 Congress seats after Sunday night’s election, despite only a small fraction of the count being made public. Is.

Now, the counting of votes has come under scrutiny following the collapse of the results transmission system following several irregularities and glitches. Due to the chaos, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal called for a manual recount of the legislative election votes and part of the presidential votes.

Manuel Flores, the presidential candidate of the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), said he planned to talk to other opposition parties about calling for Congress to annul the election results, and to hold a vote. The second round will be held on March 3. When the local elections will be held.

“The problem is they want to hit that number” that Buckel claimed in his victory speech Sunday, Flores said. “Fifty-eight, but it doesn’t add up.”

Elections in El Salvador

Feminist protesters hold a sign that reads “Bukele Dictator” in English at Salvador del Mundo Square on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024, in San Salvador, El Salvador. (AP Photo/Moses Castillo)

Flores claimed the election was a “fraud” less than an hour after voting on Sunday, and his party remains unpopular after years of corruption and failure to deliver on its promises. Is.

Bokel’s Navies Ideas party’s majority in Congress and a friendly court allowed him to avoid a constitutional ban on re-election. The opposition and election analysts also say that the party’s recent electoral reforms have piled up the odds. In favor of Bokel’s partyEspecially in legislative and local elections.

The populist leader had already expressed concern about the legislative elections. A week before Sunday’s vote, Bockel warned in a video plastered on social media and television across the country that if Navis ideas lost seats in Congress, “the opposition could achieve its real and only project.” will be done, to free the gang members and use them. to return to power.”

Other opposition groups such as the Nuestro Tempo Party, the VAMOS Party and the conservative National Republican Alliance (ARENA) echoed Flores’ concerns over the vote count. The parties said they were also considering annulling the results, but were awaiting a response from the tribunal to a request for more information on the irregularities.

While Electoral Magistrate Noel Orellana said the tribunal has yet to receive any request from the parties to annul the results, their priority is to open the ballot boxes and count all the votes.

“The most important thing now is to give an accurate count,” Orellana said.

The final counting of votes will be monitored by representatives of political parties, electoral prosecutors from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman and national and international observers, among others.

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