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U.S. congratulates El Salvador's newly elected president

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated Salvador Sanchez Ceren on his election as president of El Salvador, in what international observers found were both "free and fair" and "calm and orderly" elections. Sanchez Ceren is El Salvador's first former rebel president.
By JC Finley   |   March 25, 2014 at 9:14 AM   |   Comments

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March 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of State extended its congratulations Tuesday to Salvador Sanchez Ceren on his election as president of El Salvador.

"We congratulate Salvador Sanchez Ceren on his election as president, and we particularly congratulate the Salvadoran people for their participation in a process that the OAS election observer mission called calm and orderly."

Sanchez Ceren, the former vice president, beat out conservative presidential candidate Mayor of San Salvador Norman Quijano in an election that Quijano alleged was corrupt and illegitimate.

International election observers maintained the elections were "free and fair," a determination supported and applauded at the time by the State Department.

Secretary Kerry reiterated U.S. support for the Supreme Electoral Tribunal's procedures on Tuesday, saying, "We recognize that there are pending legal matters, and we urge continued respect for the legal processes and institutions of El Salvador."

On Monday evening, the Supreme Electoral Council determined there was "no basis" for allegations of inaccurate vote counts. Qujiano's Arena party is now awaiting a verdict from the Supreme Court.

The U.S., Kerry said, "looks forward to working with President Salvador Sanchez Ceren and to continuing joint efforts to promote security and economic development through the Partnership for Growth. Our longstanding partnership and commitment to El Salvador and the Salvadoran people continues."

President Sanchez Ceren is a member of the Farabundo Marti Liberation Front, a former rebel group that transitioned into a political party at the end of El Salvador's civil war in 1992. He was named vice president when the FMLF won the 2009 presidential election. With his election, Sanchez Ceren is El Salvador's first former rebel president.

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