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Miércoles, 24 de marzo de 2004 - 12:14 GMT
Elecciones en El Salvador
Tony Saca, presidente electo de El Salvador.
Tony Saca, presidente electo de El Salvador.

El Salvador has elected a new president. Tony Saca of the right wing ARENA party has beaten the former rebel commander, Schafik Handal.

This report from Clare Marshall.

After a nasty election campaign, which opened up the old divisions of El Salvador's bitter civil war, the right has triumphed once again. ARENA, the party which has ruled this tiny Central American country for the last fourteen years, has been given a new mandate. The party faithful started celebrating just minutes after the vote count began, when initial results suggested that former sports television presenter, Tony Saca, would win in the first round.

Less than three hours later, before the official result was confirmed by the electoral council, Tony Saca declared himself El Salvador's president elect. Appearing at a podium in his trademark shirt of his party's colours - red, white and blue - Mr Saca said that the people of El Salvador have asked me to take care of the future and not to slip back into the past. Live on local television, he then proceeded to take several congratulatory telephone calls from the leaders of other Central American nations. Fireworks could be heard crackling across the skies of the capital.

This result is a resounding rejection of the left wing in its current form. It's unlikely that the seventy three year old Communist former guerrilla commander, Schafik Handal, will stand again. It seems that its leaders will have to modernise in order for the left to become a significant force in modern Salvadorean politics.

Clare Marshall, BBC News

old divisions
antiguas divisiones, antiguos desacuerdos

has been given a new mandate
le dieron un nuevo mandato

the party faithful
los incondicionales, los seguidores más fieles del partido

initial results
resultados iniciales de una elección

confirmed
se confirmó

podium
estrado, podio

in his trademark shirt
con la camisa que constituye su sello característico, que se pone con frecuencia y la gente lo asocia con ella

take care of
cuidar, prestar atención a algo

slip back
retroceder

resounding
resonante, rotundo



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