The Electoral Observation Mission of the European Union (EU EOM) in El Salvador reaffirmed on Monday, during the presentation of the final report of the presidential election process on 3 February, that the elections were "transparent" and "credible."
"Our overall assessment is that the elections were credible, transparent and well organized," said the EU EOM chief, Carlos Iturgaiz, during the presentation of the final document, prepared by the members of the delegation that observed the process since the beginning of January until two and a half weeks after the elections.
The Spanish MEP also indicated that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) carried out the electoral preparations "in an appropriate manner" and stressed that the elections "took place in an atmosphere of calm and tranquility."
"The TSE faced organizational and political challenges, some of which were trying to affect the credibility of the elections, but in the end the process developed normally and without any altercation," he said.
Iturgaiz highlighted the effort made by the Salvadoran electoral entity to "improve the political participation of people with disabilities and members of the LGTBI community."
He maintained that during the political campaign "fundamental freedoms of information, expression, movement and association were respected".
"It was a very quiet electoral process, with peaceful campaigns, low profile, with few conventional events and a high use of social networks," he added.
The report presented by the MEP includes 22 recommendations for "the improvement of future electoral processes in El Salvador".
Among the recommendations are six that are related to improve by the TSE to meet its obligations, adjust administrative and criminal penalties for those who commit electoral crimes and urges to allow independent candidates in presidential elections.
After the presentation of the final report, the European Union will discuss the recommendations with Salvadoran authorities, political parties and civil society.
The EU EOM, which observed in detail all aspects of the electoral process, carried out its work in the 14 departments of El Salvador between January 6, 2018 and February 20, 2019.
The team was composed of 82 observers from EU countries and Norway.
In the elections of February 3, Nayib Bukele, of the Great Alliance for National Unity (GANA) won the first round, winning 1,434,856 votes (53.1%).
The comfortable triumph of Bukele represents the end of the bipartisanship installed for decades in the Government, with the Nationalist Republican Alliance (Arena) and the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), which were divided by the last five administrations.