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article imageEl Salvador court rejects opposition challenge to vote tally

By AFP     Mar 25, 2014 in World

El Salvador's Supreme Electoral Tribunal on Monday dismissed opposition claims of irregularities and confirmed the leftist ruling party candidate as president-elect.

Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a former guerrilla commander who ran in the March 9 vote, will be presented with his credentials on Tuesday, said the head of the court, Eugenio Chicas.

The final tally of the election gave 50.1 percent of the votes to Sanchez Ceren and 49.9 percent to San Salvador mayor Norman Quijano of the rightwing Nationalist Republican Alliance.

The court had declared Sanchez Ceren the winner on March 16 but the rightwing party filed an appeal claiming irregularities.

But the court on Monday said there was "no basis" for the appeal.

Quijano and his party still have pending an appeal to the Supreme Court seeking a manual recount of the votes.

Sanchez Ceren of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front inherits leadership of a country wracked by poverty and rampant violence from powerful street gangs.

Sanchez Ceren, 69, will be the first former guerrilla commander to take power in El Salvador and the fourth in Latin America.

A former teacher, Sanchez Ceren was one of the top military rebel commanders during El Salvador's 1979-1992 civil war between his leftist guerrillas and US-backed rightwing governments. He also served as education minister.

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