Here it goes, again; another make-or-break Presidential election in Latin America. This time it is El Salvador, with the "reformed" FMLN running a non-revolutionary-front candidate as their face (or stalking horse; you be the judge) against ARENA's former national police commander candidate. ARENA has made up for double digit shortfalls in the polls up to now, and is running a close race. Their win in the San Salvador mayoralty during the local election round earlier this year ran against the tide of FMLN wins in the countryside and that has spurred a recovery for the party. Outgoing President Tony Saca (ARENA) also still commands a >60% approval rating. As of this morning, the American paper The Wall Street Journal cites polling putting things at a dead heat.
Should be an exciting day of democracy in El Salvador. Here's hoping for a fair and beneficial outcome.
UPDATED Late Sunday (North American times):
First reports are trickling in, with the AP citing a 51/49 split in favor of FMLN's M. Funes, with 33% of the vote counted. I say it will be even closer than that in the end, if not a win for ARENA's Avila...
The Electoral Commission has it at 51/49 for Mauricio Funes (FMLN), with 90% of the vote counted. Rodrigo Avila (ARENA) has conceded defeat and wished the new President luck.
I wish all of El Salvador luck, too, because I think they are going to need it.