El Salvador’s Presidential Election

February 1, 2014

Count down! – The day before the vote and tension is mounting – there has been a ban on alcohol for the past 24 hours – there has been no visible campaigning and party workers are feeling the mounting pressure.  We had a visit from one of the party workers who has campaigned with Salvador, the FMLN Presidential candidate, for the past year and a half.   He was a guerilla before the peace accord in 1992, and has been working for the FMLN for the past twelve years.  He is currently the Minister of Education and hopes to keep his post.  Valadamir spoke passionately about what the government has accomplished and what they hope to continue working on in the future.  He told us that they had word from a leaked poll that the FMLN are sitting at 54% and the ARENA at 36% – not sure how accurate the figures are but if they are accurate FMLN will win and there will be a huge celebration.

As for our day, we were up at 5:30 and out by 6:00 for a trip to the coast and a beautiful little seaside resort, www.esteroymar.com  The weather was picture perfect; we had a perfect morning.

After lunch, we headed back into the city for a visit with the Bishop of San Salvador, Gregorio Rosa Chavez.  He was celebrating his 44th year as a priest and was a close friend of Archbishop Romero.  Monsieur Gregorio talked about his relationship with Romero and the importance of listening when reaching out to help people. He told us about us the story of how in a conversation with Pope Francis, before he became Pope; he asked Francis what he thought of Romero.  Francis said Romero was a saint and if he became Pope, he would canonize him  – there is a feeling that their favourite son Romero will  soon receive the blessing.

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From there we went back to the hotel to get ready for Sunday’s vote and our meeting with Father’s friend, from the FMLN party.