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The OAS Presented Recommendations to Improve the Electoral System of El Salvador

  July 17, 2014

As part of an accountability process organized by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (SET) of El Salvador, the Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation (DECO) of the Organization of American States (OAS) presented the results of a technical cooperation project carried out in 2013 and the Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) deployed in 2014. The main objective of these activities was to support the improvement of the Central American country’s electoral institutions.

During the presentation, the head of DECO´s Technical Cooperation Section, Maria Teresa Mellenkamp, explained the study performed by the OAS’ technical experts who, from October to December 2013, reviewed the implementation of the recommendations of the Comprehensive Audit of the Electoral Register of 2007. The analysis revealed that 64% of recommendations have been implemented, at least partially. In these sense, Mellenkamp stressed “the importance of reviewing the organizational structure of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal in order to ensure that it has a modern management model that responds to citizens’ demands.”

Also, the OAS/DECO´s specialist presented the recommendations of the Electoral Observation Mission deployed this year to monitor presidential elections. In this regard, she explained, inter alia, the need to expand the jurisdictional functions of the Tribunal as well as to define precisely the division of the jurisdictional electoral competences of the Tribunal and the Supreme Court of Justice. The OAS/EOM also recommended evaluating the possibility of modifying the structure of the electoral authority. The Mission suggested the division of the structure of the electoral authority, separating it in a multi-party body for the administration of the process and in a jurisdictional entity with no ties to the parties. If the unified scheme is maintained, the OAS/EOM proposed abandoning its currently partisan composition.

Once the 2015 legislative and municipal elections are held, there will be a window of opportunity to modernize the electoral entity and its processes, as there will be no elections in the following three years. OAS/DECO reaffirms its commitment to continue supporting the work of El Salvador’s electoral authorities that have showed continuous interest in improving their electoral service.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-304/14