Sister Cities has brought electoral observation delegations to El Salvador for 20 years since the first presidential elections following the Peace Accords in 1994 to advocate for transparency of the democratic process and to support the communities of our partner organization, CRIPDES.

Now, 20 years and 4 presidential terms later, a delegation of 10 individuals from the Sister Cities network will come observe the presidential elections, which will take place on February 2, 2014.  The delegates come from the committees of Chicago, Cambridge, Austin, Bangor, New Jersey, and a representative from Ferris University in Michigan. Some are long-time members of sistered committees, while others are new to the network and learning about the solidarity model and organization in El Salvador.  But all come with the shared goal of continuing the legacy of solidarity between the pueblo Salvadoreño and the pueblo Norteamericano.

Delegates will be trained by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and attend various meetings with the grassroots organizations and important popular leaders here in El Salvador before going out to the municipalities of Tecoluca in San Vicente and Cinquera in Cabañas to observe the elections next Sunday. They will be trained to watch for illegal practices such as party representatives “buying” votes, inaccurate counting of ballots, party propaganda at voting sites, etc. 

Electoral observation is an important component of the accompaniment that is at the core of Sister Cities and our partnership with CRIPDES – the Committee for the Development of Rural Communities in El Salvador. 

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