Media Center

Press Release

OAS and El Salvador Sign Agreement for Mission to Observe the Elections of March 2015

  December 11, 2014

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, and the Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the OAS, Francisco Lainez, today signed an agreement that sets out the terms for the Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) to be deployed for the elections in the Central American country on March 1, 2015, when citizens will elect the representatives for the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN) and the members of Municipal Councils.

The Secretary General announced that, to lead the EOM in March, he has appointed the lawyer and Bolivian diplomat Gustavo Fernández Saavedra, former Foreign Minister of his country, who previously served as Chief of Mission in El Salvador for the presidential elections in 2009. "His experience in El Salvador has allowed him to learn about the Salvadoran political process and the electoral structure of the country," said the Secretary General.

The OAS leader recalled that since 1991, the Organization has been present for several processes in El Salvador, including municipal, legislative, and presidential elections. In each of them, he said, "El Salvador has shown a consistent commitment to ensuring free and fair elections, and therefore it is an important responsibility for us to continue working toward that purpose."

The leader of the hemispheric institution explained that the Mission "will observe substantial aspects of the process, such as electoral organization, technology and campaign financing, and in addition we hope to implement for the first time in the country a methodology to observe the political participation of women and men, as gender is considered key issue. We will have specialists dedicated to the observation of mechanisms for resolving election disputes and will ensure our presence in each of the places where voting takes place."

During the ceremony, held at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, Ambassador Laínez said that "it is a great satisfaction for me, on behalf of El Salvador, to participate in this ceremony of deep democratic significance, that constitutes a renewed demonstration of the political cooperation in the Hemisphere." The Ambassador noted that his country "is committed in letter and in action to the respect and promotion of democracy, especially democratic culture, which recognizes the importance of Electoral Observation Missions under the Inter-American Democratic Charter and the commitment of the OAS to democracy, as enshrined in its foundational Charter."

The Salvadoran diplomat explained that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of his country recognized the work of the OAS in electoral matters and, therefore, "has requested the EOM, so that through this channel it would be possible to confirm the normal development, mass participation and transparency of the elections."

He also added that the March elections "are the appropriate framework to ratify the democratic maturity of a country that is still building its responses to the enormous political, economic, social, cultural and environmental challenges it faces." The Salvadoran people, he continued, "are the architects of their destiny as the OAS observers will be able to testify." Ambassador Laínez concluded by thanking the hemispheric institution for the contribution it has made to strengthening democracy in his country.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The B-Roll of the event will be available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-548/14