Viewing cable 08SANSALVADOR1368
Title: EL SALVADOR ELECTION UPDATE: DECEMBER 12

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08SANSALVADOR13682008-12-15 18:04:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy San Salvador
R 151804Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY SAN SALVADOR
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0458
INFO NSC WASHINGTON DC
SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS SAN SALVADOR 001368 
 
 
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
TAGS: PGOV KPLS KDEM ES
SUBJECT:  EL SALVADOR ELECTION UPDATE: DECEMBER 12 
 
REF: SAN SALVADOR 1360 
 
 
¶1. Summary: This message is an update regarding the Salvadoran 
municipal and legislative elections scheduled for January 18, and 
the presidential elections scheduled for March 15.  This report 
includes additional information on the test of the electoral results 
reporting system, results of two latest polls, and campaign themes. 
 
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ELECTORAL TEST REVEALS MORE TECHNICAL FAILURES 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
¶2. Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) President Walter Araujo said 
December 10 that the electronic data transfer system which will be 
used to report election results has several weaknesses, including 
technical problems (reftel) and poor interagency coordination. In 
addition, some of the 253 Transmission Centers (CDTs) failed to 
operate when Ministry of Education officials did not open schools 
where voting centers are located or because TSE personnel did not 
attend the drill. 
 
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WAR ON POLLS HAS BEGUN 
---------------------- 
 
¶3. In a December 10 press conference Hato Hasbun, Advisor to FMLN 
presidential candidate Mauricio Funes, and Mark Fierstein, from 
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, revealed poll results in which 
Funes (47 points) leads (pro-U.S., center-right) Nationalist 
Republican Alliance Party (ARENA) presidential candidate Rodrigo 
Avila (35 points) by 12 points. 
 
¶4.  Salvadoran President Antonio Saca announced that the war on 
polls has begun. He said that three different Central American 
research companies, that better know the field, have information 
that favored Avila.  He said the FMLN has spent too much time in 
promoting poll results, but in a real election what matter are 
votes. 
 
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LEGISLATIVE POLLING RESULTS REVEAL CLOSE RACE 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
¶5. Mitofsky Public Opinion Research polling results released 
December 10 indicate a dead heat for Legislative Assembly seats in 
San Salvador.  Polling shows the FMLN with 33.9 percent and ARENA 
with 32.9.  The polling shows similar results in Cabanas, with ARENA 
receiving 29.3 percent and the FMLN 28.4 percent.  In La Libertad, 
ARENA (37.3) leads the FMLN (23.3) by 14 points, and in Cuscatlan 
ARENA (31.4) leads the FMLN (26.3) by 5.2 points. 
 
¶6. In Chalatenango, the FMLN (28.5) leads ARENA (26) by 2.5 points. 
However, in La Paz, ARENA (35.5) leads the FMLN (24.7) by 10.8 
points, and in San Vicente ARENA (28) leads the FMLN (25.3). 
 
¶7.  On December 11, Mitofsky revealed results for the western 
departments of Ahuachapan, Santa Ana, and Sonsonate. In Ahuachapan, 
ARENA (35.1) leads the FMLN (21.1) by 14 points; in Santa Ana ARENA 
(31.3) leads the FMLN (24.8) by 6.5 points; in Sonsonate, ARENA 
(28.6) leads the FMLN (26.3). 
 
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CAMPAIGN THEMES 
--------------- 
 
¶8.  The Solidarity Force, a group that is reportedly financed by 
ARENA sympathizers, has launched TV advertising comparing FMLN 
candidate Funes and the FMLN to the presidents of Nicaraguan and 
Venezuela.  The ad says that when Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega 
offered change to Nicaraguans it resulted in poverty, unemployment, 
and corruption.  The ad also claims that Venezuelan President Hugo 
Chavez finances the FMLN campaign, and accuses FMLN leaders of 
celebrating after the 9/11 attacks.  (Note: Some FMLN sympathizers 
did.) 
 
 
GLAZER