Washington, D.C., September 6, 2023. Salvadoran authorities, mainly the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), must comply with international human rights standards regarding the electoral process that begins in El Salvador on September 6, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) said today.
In February 2024, Salvadoran citizens will elect representatives for the presidency and Congress in March 2024 they will elect members of the Central American Parliament as well as local officials. This is taking place as the rule of law and human rights violations in El Salvador deteriorate. In this context, it is imperative to guarantee the right to free, transparent and fair elections.
“The respect and guarantee of the rights to expression, assembly and association – today limited – are essential conditions for the effective exercise of rights during the electoral process,” said Ana María Méndez-Dardón, WOLA’s Director for Central America.
The TSE needs to safeguard democratic values and verify the pre-electoral conditions such as the use of funds and campaign financing, and not only on election day itself.
In addition, international scrutiny is key to protect the country’s democracy. It is important that the Salvadoran State allows electoral observation missions such as the Organization of American States (OAS) and the European Union (EU) to monitor the integrity of the process from the beginning. Likewise, the international community should provide support to civil society and independent journalists who monitor the elections, promote the rule of law and protect the civil and political rights of Salvadoran citizens.
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