Former rebel leader Salvador Sanchez Ceren has been declared the winner of the El Salvador elections. He is the first rebel leader to win the elections since 1992, when El Salvador's government and rebels signed a peace treaty to end many years of violence. Norman Quijano, the leader of the right wing party that was in power for a long time, refused to concede defeat and threatened war.
Quijano alleged fraud, and called on the army to play a role, a statement that carries ominous echoes in a country where 76,000 people died in the civil war, which pitted the army against the leftist rebels.
"We are not going to allow Venezuelan-style fraud, in the style of Chavez and Maduro," Quijano said, referring to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro. "We have our own recount, which shows we won."
Quijano criticized the electoral tribunal, saying it "sold out to the dictatorship," adding that "the armed forces are ready to make democracy."
ARENA has already filed a petition seeking to throw out the results of the election, alleging fraud. This brings back memories of 2000, when Vice President Al Gore came up short by slightly over 500 votes against George Bush, triggering a renewed era of militarism and aggression by the US. Only around 6,600 votes are separating the two candidates in El Salvador. The US had a similar situation happen in 1876, when the returns of three states, Louisiana, Florida, and South Carolina were disputed and all of them were awarded to Rutherford B. Hayes, the Republican.
ARENA is planning on following the lead of the opposition in Venezuela, where they have been taking to the streets nonstop in an effort to drive President Maduro out of power. A lot will depend on whether the army remains loyal to the government or they throw their lot in with ARENA. In Ukraine, they tacitly supported the Euromaidan protestors. In Venezuela, the army has remained loyal to the socialist government.