With almost 64 percent of tally sheets processed so far, El Salvador’s right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) party maintains a comfortable lead over the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN).
ARENA’s alliance with the right-wing National Agreement Party (PCN) gave it a decisive victory over the FMLN in places like in San Vicente and Morazan, The PCN came forth with 151,752 of the total votes.
The counting started as voting stations closed at 5:00 p.m. local time Sunday. More definite results are expected later Monday.
The elections results will determine how many of the 84 seats in the Legislative Assembly each party gets, as well as the makeup of the country’s Municipal Councils.
The leftist Salvador Sanchez Ceren, from the FMLN, is currently the president of El Salvador and the outcome of these elections may mean he will have to deal with a mostly right-wing assembly, dominated by ARENA. Sanchez will be president until June 2019.
This could be a continuation of the current political situation in El Salvador, where ARENA holds 35 seats, the FMLN 31 and smaller parties have 18 in total.
A total of 5,186,042 Salvadorans were eligible to vote, but with two thirds of the votes counted and about a million and a half votes processed, it's estimated that just about half of the voting population actually went to the polls, putting turnout at about 50 percent.
Meanwhile election authorities said of all counted votes so far 107,209 were marked as invalid, after a widespread campaign ahead of the elections called for going to the polls but not voting for any of the parties due to lack of confidence towards politicians.
Legislative and municipal elections take place every three years and the presidential one is held every five years.
Also at least three people were arrested after the National Civil Police discovered they attended different voting stations to cast their vote twice. They could face between four and six years in prison.