SAN SALVADOR – Twenty-eight European Union election observers began work in El Salvador on Friday ahead of the Central American nation’s March 4 legislative and municipal elections.
The observers will meet with “interlocutors involved in the electoral process” in all 14 Salvadoran provinces, the deputy chief of the EU observation mission, Alexander Gray, told reporters here.
He said that as many as 90 EU observers, including diplomats and members of the European Parliament, will be present on the day of the voting, while the 28 “long-term” observers will remain in El Salvador for several days after the election.
The EU mission has been overseeing testing performed by the Supreme Electoral Court on the equipment and data transmission systems to be used for the ballot, Gray said, praising election officials for allowing observers full access to the process.
One of the EU observers, Gregorio Aranda of Spain, told EFE that El Salvador’s electoral system is “maturing” and will eventually have no need for international monitoring.
Some 5.2 million Salvadorans are eligible to cast ballots on March 4 to fill all 84 seats in Congress and choose mayors and councilors in 262 municipalities.
The country held its first free elections in 1984.
Next month’s vote will be the ninth legislative and municipal election since the signing of the peace accords that put an end to the 1980-1992 civil war.