Salvadoran presidential election, 2009

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Salvadoran presidential election, 2009
El Salvador
← 2004 March 15, 2009 2014 →
  Mauricio Funes (Brasilia, May 2008).jpg
Nominee Mauricio Funes Rodrigo Ávila
Home state San Salvador San Salvador
Running mate Salvador Sánchez Cerén Arturo Zablah
Popular vote 1,354,000 1,284,588
Percentage 51.32% 48.68%

President before election

Antonio Saca

Elected President

Mauricio Funes

Coat of arms of El Salvador.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
El Salvador

A presidential election was held in El Salvador on 15 March 2009. The main candidates were Rodrigo Ávila (ARENA) and Mauricio Funes (FMLN). Funes won the election with 51.3% of the vote.


A poll from mid September 2008 gave Funes 29.2% and Ávila 26.1%, while Tomás Chévez (PCN) got 1.9%. However, a poll from late September gave Funes 47.4% to 23.8% for Ávila. This latter poll showing Funes with a large lead is more consistent with polling from previous months.[1][2]

Later polls from 2008 showed a tightening race between Funes and Ávila, with Funes retaining the lead.[3]


Abbreviation Party Presidential nominee Running mate
FMLN Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front Mauricio Funes Salvador Sánchez Cerén
ARENA Nationalist Republican Alliance Rodrigo Ávila Arturo Zablah

The Christian Democratic Party had nominated Carlos Rivas Zamora and Merlin Peña, but withdrew the nominations on 2 February 2009 after it became apparent that they would have little chance of winning the election. The PDC did not immediately voice support for one of the other candidates.[4] In the same direction, the PCN, which had nominated Luis Tomás Chévez, also withdrew its candidate a couple days later.


FMLN won the election with 51.3% of the vote, while ARENA received 48.7%, marking the first time ARENA had lost a presidential election in 20 years.[5] Of the election, Funes said, "This is the happiest night of my life, and I want it to be the night of El Salvador's greatest hope. I want to thank all the people who voted for me and chose that path of hope and change."[6] Ávila conceded defeat, saying that he and his party "will be a constructive opposition."[6] An observation team from the Organization of American States said that the elections were held without any major incidents, although there were claims of Hondurans voting at a voting center in Torola, Morazán.[7]

Several governments said that they looked forward to working with the new government, including Taiwan and the United States.[8][9]

e • d  Summary of the 15 March 2009 Salvadoran presidential election results
Candidate – Party Votes %
Mauricio FunesFarabundo Martí National Liberation Front (Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional) 1,354,000 51.32
Rodrigo ÁvilaNationalist Republican Alliance (Alianza Republicana Nacionalista) 1,284,588 48.68
Total 2,638,588 100.00
Invalid votes 20,550
Total votes (turnout 61.9%) 2,659,138
Registered voters 4,294,849
Source: TSE 1, TSE 2


  1. ^ "Leftist Funes Loses Steam in El Salvador". Angus Reid Global Monitor. 13 September 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2009. 
  2. ^ "Leftist Funes Leads Ávila in El Salvador". Angus Reid Global Monitor. 29 September 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2009. 
  3. ^ "Close Presidential Race Continues in El Salvador". Angus Reid Global Monitor. 1 December 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2009. 
  4. ^ "Christian Dems Quit Salvador Election Race". Prensa Latina. 3 February 2009. Retrieved 11 March 2009. 
  5. ^ "Left-winger wins El Salvador poll". BBC. 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
  6. ^ a b Booth, William (2009-03-16). "Leftist Declares Victory In El Salvador Election". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
  7. ^ "OAS recognizes El Salvador's election orderly held". Xinhua. 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
  8. ^ "Taiwan to strengthen ties with El Salvador's next president". M&C. 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
  9. ^ "US congratulates leftist winner in El Salvador". AFP. 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2009-03-17.