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LAT 2/2/14: In El Salvador presidential vote, leftist Sanchez Ceren ahead

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  • Rick Kissell
    In El Salvador presidential vote, leftist Sanchez Ceren ahead It s unclear whether Vice President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a former guerrilla leader, will have
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2014
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      In El Salvador presidential vote, leftist Sanchez Ceren ahead

      It's unclear whether Vice President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a former guerrilla leader, will have a victory solid enough to avoid a runoff election.

      by Richard Fausset
      The Los Angeles Times
      February 2, 2014


      MEXICO CITY — A former left-wing guerrilla leader held a wide lead in El Salvador's presidential race Sunday night, but it was unclear whether Salvador Sanchez Ceren could avoid a runoff.

      With 57% of the ballots tallied, Sanchez Ceren, the vice president of El Salvador, had a bit more than 49% of the vote. If he draws more than 50%, he will avoid a runoff provisionally scheduled for March 9.

      Norman Quijano, a former mayor of the capital, San Salvador, came in second, with 38% of the vote. He represents the conservative Arena party.

      The left-versus-right tensions that plunged the tiny Central American country into civil war in 1979 — engulfing it for more than a decade — continue to shape El Salvador's electoral politics. Sanchez Ceren is a member of the former guerrilla group Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, or FMLN, which has transformed into a political party.

      The FMLN won the presidency in 2009 for the first time. Since then, it has bolstered the welfare state — a popular move in a country where more than 1 in 3 residents live below the poverty line, according to World Bank figures from 2012, the most recent available.

      Quijano, the Arena candidate, has promised to implement a strict anti-crime agenda, including possible militarization of the police. He has also promised to reject a controversial 2012 truce between El Salvador's powerful street gangs, a defining moment in the presidency of the FMLN's Mauricio Funes. Quijano says the truce amounts to negotiating with criminals.

      Former Arena candidate Antonio Saca, another conservative, had 11% of the vote.



      latimes.com/world/la-fg-salvador-election-20140203,0,4632359.story











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