Media Center

Press Release

Observation Mission in El Salvador Highlights the Progress of the Electoral System and Recommends Incorporating Political Parity and a Comprehensive Audit of the Voters List

  September 27, 2018

The Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) of the Organization of American States (OAS) deployed in El Salvador for the legislative and municipal council elections that were held on March 4 today presented to the Permanent Council its final report which highlights the efforts made by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal in the transmission of preliminary results, encourages the Tribunal to strengthen its powers to resolve issues of electoral justice and presents a series of recommendations focused on the issues of electoral organization, technology and justice, political-electoral financing and political participation of women.

The report was presented by the Chief of Mission, Juan Pablo Corlazzoli, who explained that the Mission was composed of 29 experts and observers of 18 nationalities who, on the day of the election, were deployed in the 14 departments of the country, from the time the voting booths opened, until the vote count and the transmission of results, visiting a total of 117 polling stations.

In the 90-page report, the EOM "recognizes the progress made by the TSE in the transmission of preliminary results" and recommended the creation of “a phased schedule of tests that would gradually increase the coverage until all of the JRVs are covered."

With regard to political-electoral financing, Corlazzoli highlighted "the need to establish specific processes to guarantee timely access to the political parties’ financial information and accounts and that the institutions be provided with the human and financial resources they need to be able to exercise effective oversight of these accounts.”

On the subject of women's participation, the report recommends that "directing the resources to those political parties that include more women in places where they have a greater chance of winning." It also recommends adopting a policy position to give women more visibility and to normalize women’s candidacies. “The EOM considers that El Salvador should go beyond the quota and gradually and progressively seek political parity, emulating the trend in countries of the region such as Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras and Mexico,” added the Chief of Mission.

With respect to the voter registry, and the concerns regarding its updating, the EOM recommended implementing improvements in its controls over the data it receives from the National Registry of Natural Persons, identifying irregular changes in residence, carrying out a verification of the data of the Electoral Registry and implementing improvements in the controls over the registries. Similarly, the Mission considers that "El Salvador would benefit from a comprehensive audit of the electoral roll in order to verify its status and perform a number of verification and control exercises.”

In its conclusions, the OAS Mission states that with regard to election laws, it recommends "that the rules on challenges set out in the Electoral Code be developed in more detail, particularly with regard to annulments, the precision of the assumptions, the procedures, the deadlines, the rights of the parties, and the effects of decisions. This would contribute to greater clarity in the procedures, and help avoid unnecessary litigation.”

At the end of the presentation, the Permanent Representative of El Salvador, Carlos Alberto Calles thanked the OAS for the report and the observations contained therein. "The Government of El Salvador recognizes that the Electoral Observation Mission is a key tool of political cooperation, fundamental for the proper exercise and improvements in representative democracy and key to ensure universal and transparent suffrage, which ratifies the democratic maturity of a country that continues to strengthen its electoral processes," he said.

Since 1982, the OAS has deployed 15 Missions in El Salvador. The legislative elections of March 4 were the ninth of their kind since the signing of the Peace Accords in 1992

Reference: E-058/18