Elections officials in San Salvador have declared ex-guerrilla commander Salvador Sanchez Ceren the winner of a March 9 vote. They also rejected opposition calls for the election to be annulled.
El Salvador's Supreme Electoral Court on Sunday declared Salvador Sanchez Ceren, an ex-guerilla from the country's 1979-1992 civil war, to be the country's president-elect after rejecting the last opposition challenges to the results of a March 9 election.
The court confirmed that Sanchez Ceren, 69, of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) beat rival Norman Quijano, 67, of the conservative ARENA party by the razor-thin margin of 50.11 to 49.39. The result, announced on Thursday following a partial recount, is the same as that announced immediately after the vote.
The court also rejected a demand by Quijano, the mayor of the capital, San Salvador, to annul the results of the runoff vote because of election fraud and hold a recount.
Sanchez Ceren will take office on June 1 for a five-year term.
He was one of the top military rebel commanders during El Salvador's civil conflict, in which some 76,000 people were killed.
It is the first time a former rebel commander has been elected to the presidency of El Salvador.
A former teacher, he later served as education minister and vice president under leftist President Mauricio Funes, who came to power in 2009, ending two decades of right-wing rule, mostly under ARENA.
tj/kms (AP, AFP)