2014 Elections Budget Approved After 2-Month Boycott by Right-Wing Party

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On March 20, 2013, El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly approved the budget for the 2014 Presidential elections, following more than two months of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) party blocking its approval. The original budget of $54.9 million, which already had the support of every political party except ARENA, was ultimately cut to $40 million in order to secure ARENA’s support and prevent further delay in preparations for the elections. ARENA also demanded that $1.4 million in get-out-the-vote and voter education funds be reallocated for renting privately-owned buildings to be used as voting centers, rather than solely using public buildings and spaces as has been done in the past.

During legislative debate, when ARENA was blocking the budget’s approval, leftist FMLN party spokesperson and legislator Roberto Lorenzana told the press, “What ARENA is trying to do is delay these processes, cause inconveniences, generate an atmosphere of ungovernability, create the impression that the government lacks the capacity to carry out elections.”

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