Presidential Candidates Opposing Bukele Say They Distrust the Abroad Voting Process

Remote Electronic Voting Began for Salvadorans Residing Abroad on January 6.

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Jan 16th, 2024
El Salvador Presidential CandidatesJoel Sanchez (ARENA) y Luis Parada (Nuestro Tiempo). Image by Julia Gavarrete.

Days after the remote electronic voting of Salvadorans abroad began, the presidential candidates opposing incumbent president Nayib Bukele remarked that they distrusted the voting process abroad.

The 2024 elections are the first time Salvadorans residing abroad can vote remotely online.

As of January 16, more than 90,000 Salvadorans have voted in the presidential election, and over 80,000 have voted for candidates for the Legislative Assembly.

In the last few days, presidential candidates opposing Bukele have commented on their distrust of the Salvadoran Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) and the abroad voting process.

ARENA’s candidate Joel Sanchez remarked, “The way the Supreme Electoral Tribunal has developed this process has been quite confusing, we do not believe that there is transparency in the entire project of voting abroad and that worries us, we are worried that there may be possible fraud.

Yes, we are concerned that there may be possible fraud; we are worried that there is no transparency in the voting process abroad. Joel Sanchez, presidential candidate of ARENA

Manuel Florez, the presidential candidate from the FMLN, has commented on many occasions that he has no confidence in the TSE, especially since the FMLN is not part of the group monitoring the voting abroad.

No, I don’t trust the process anymore because they took us out of the surveillance of the vote abroad, even with the rights that we have as a political party. The TSE did use a ploy to get GANA involved, even when GANA did not even participate in the elections for vote surveillance. GANA finished in fourth position and we in third. I no longer believe in this process. Manuel “El Chino” Florez, FMLN Candidate.

For her part, Celia Medrano, candidate for vice president of the Nuestro Tiempo political party, also expresses distrust in the voting process abroad.

I am concerned about what Julio Olivo (TSE magistrate) said, that there are no controls, there are no guarantees, it was said by a magistrate who knows the interior, therefore, the results, there is no way to know if the results are going to be reliable or not concerning electronic voting. Celia Medrano, Nuestro Tiempo.

On the other hand, Nayib Bukele’s political party has been happy and celebrating the record-breaking voting abroad.

The remote electronic voting process began on January 6. As of January 15, over 90,000 Salvadorans have cast their vote for president and over 80,000 for deputies of the Legislative Assembly.