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El Salvador: More Blogger Reflections on the Election of Funes

Salvadoran voters elected their first leftist president in elections on Sunday, March 15. Mauricio Funes, a former television journalist, succeeded as the candidate of the FMLN, the former guerrilla faction in the country's 12 year civil war. His victory came 17 years after the signing of the peace accords which ended that war and turned the former combatants into political parties. Here are more reactions from local bloggers.

David Mejia was part of live coverage [es] given to the elections and the tallying of the votes by the Salvadoran blogosphere. He reflected on the importance [es] of the internet and the election results:

Esta vez me atrevo a decir con propiedad, el internet ha sido muy importante esta vez en las elecciones, debido a que el público joven, lo ha utilizado en vez de los medios tradicionales, y quiero felicitar a los partidos políticos por habernos tomado en cuenta en muchas ocasiones.

No hay que olvidar que El Salvador esta vez tiene que estar más unido, dejar las diferencias, aferrarse a Dios para poder tener un mejor país, ya que todos unidos lo podremos lograr, y así poder lograr el verdadero CAMBIO, no solo cambio de gobierno, sino cambio de actitud.

This time I dare say with propriety, the internet has been very important in the election this time because the young audience used the internet instead of the traditional media, and I congratulate the parties for having taken that into account on many occasions.

Do not forget that this time El Salvador has to be more united, leaving behind the differences, clinging to God in order to have a better country, because all together we will be able to achieve and can achieve real change, not just a change of government but change of attitude.

Juan Martel, active in Salvadoran politics and a writer at the Hunnapuh blog [es] found that the day had gone according to a fabulous script:

A las 5 PM terminó la votación en todo el país, votaron los que ya estaban en las filas, luego se comenzó a contar los votos y a llenar las actas de JRV. Millones de salvadoreños vimos a través de la Televisión como se contaban nuestros votos, lo hacían con eficiencia y mucho respeto, hubo algunas discusiones sobre la valides de algún voto, pero al final arreglaron. ¡Todo de película!…

El FMLN ganaba 17 años después de firmada la paz, el objetivo de los acuerdos de paz se cumplen por fin, el pueblo hizo posible esta victoria. ¡De película!

Los salvadoreños, nos ganamos varios Oscares por nuestra actuación este día.

At 5 PM the voting ended across the country, those who were in line voted, then the votes began to be counted and the reports of each voting table completed. Millions of Salvadorans saw on television as our votes are counted, it was done efficiently and with much respect, there was some discussion on the validity of a vote, but ultimately it was resolved. As great as a movie! …

The FMLN won 17 years after signing of the peace, the goal of peace agreements are fulfilled at last, the people made this victory possible. What a movie!

Salvadoreans, we won several Oscars for our performance today.

The dean of Salvadoran bloggers, Ernesto Rivas-Gallont, a former ambassador from El Salvador to the United States during its civil war, looked towards the future:

Estamos frente a un cambio profundo no solo de estilo de gobierno sino que de política gubernamental. Solo esperamos que el cambio no sacuda la estructura fundamental del país y que se respete la institucionalidad. La gobernabilidad debe ser la primera prioridad del gobierno de Mauricio Funes.

Por nuestra parte le reiteramos al presidente electo nuestras felicitaciones y le deseamos éxito en la difícil tarea que tiene por delante.

We are facing a profound change not only in style of government but of government policy. We only hope that the change will not shake the fundamental structure of the country and that institutions are respected. Governance should be the first priority of the government of Mauricio Funes.

For our part, we reiterate our congratulations to President-elect and wish him success in the difficult task ahead.

A group of bloggers at the spirited-leftist blog El Trompudo [es] reflected on what the moment meant for them:

No es momento de revanchismos políticos. Momentos difíciles se avecinan. El cielo es sombrío, amenazador. Momentos difíciles esperan al mundo, y en particular a países frágiles como el nuestro. Felizmente, hay un rayo de luz que ilumina nuestra patria. Finalmente, después de casi dos siglos de sometimiento del pueblo.

Presidente Funes gobernará para todos. Seamos humildes en la victoria, ponderados, amistosos, conciliantes. A El Salvador no lo podemos salvar la mitad más uno. No. Lo salvaremos TODOS!

Emociones fuertes impiden que seamos ponderados y, quizá, hasta equilibrados en estos momentos. Hasta ahí dejaremos nuestra reflexión. Iremos a celebrar este triunfo con todas las fuerzas de nuestros corazones. Lo merecemos. Y celebraremos en nombre de nosotros, de nuestros hijos y de todos aquellos salvadorenos que ya no están con nosotros : los que murieron y los que partieron para huir sufrimientos y persecusiones.

This is no time for political revenge. Difficult times lie ahead. The sky is dark, threatening. Difficult times await the world, particularly fragile countries like ours. Fortunately, there is a ray of light that illuminates our homeland. Finally, after nearly two centuries of subjugation of the people.

President Funes will govern for all. Let us be humble in victory, high-minded, friendly, conciliatory. In El Salvador, we can not save just one half plus one. No, we will save all!

Strong emotions prevent us from being high-minded and perhaps even balanced at the moment. So we are going to leave off on our reflections. We're going to celebrate this victory with all the forces in our hearts. We deserve it. And we will celebrate on behalf of ourselves, our children and all those Salvadorans who are no longer with us: those who died and those who left to escape suffering and persecution.

The journalist blogger Solava looked for constructive engagement from those who participate in the blogosphere [es] and elsewhere as the new government moves forward and not blind party loyalty:

El papel del ciudadano en una sociedad democrática no encuentra su mejor expresión en la participación militante en un partido, sino en una interacción crítica hacia el gobierno, incluso si ese gobierno es del partido por el que se votó. Lo que un ciudadano no debe olvidar nunca es que las personas electas para una posición pública son servidores públicos. Están ahí, en sus puestos, para obedecer a la ciudadanía y no al revés.

The role of the citizen in a democratic society is not best expressed in the participation of the party militant, but in interaction critical towards the government, even if that government is from the party for which they voted. What a citizen should not forget is that people elected to a public office are public servants. They are there, at their posts, to obey the public and not vice versa.

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