The European Union deployed an Election Follow-up Mission (EFM) to El Salvador from 11 October to 7 November 2021 to assess the degree of implementation of the recommendations provided by the 2018 and 2019 European Union Election Observation Missions (EU EOM). The Mission was led by Gabriel Mato, Member of the European Parliament.
The Mission met with President Nayib Bukele, Vice-President Félix Ulloa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Legislative Assembly, Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Electoral Oversight Board (JVE), Human Rights Ombudsperson, political parties, independent media, civil society, technical assistance providers, the cardinal and the diplomatic community.
The EFM found that some progress was made to address the 2018 and 2019 EU EOM recommendations, with 8 of the 32 recommendations fully or partially implemented. The EFM maintains the priority recommendations established by previous missions, including the need for improved supervision over political financing, depoliticisation of electoral staff, and enforcement and bolstering of campaign and media rules.
The EFM organised a stakeholder roundtable on 28 October. Stakeholders emphasized that the organisation of the 2024 general elections will be challenging. There was broad consensus that there is an urgent need to undertake electoral reforms within the timeframe provided by the law for an effective implementation ahead of the 2024 polls. The EFM has been encouraging the Legislative Assembly and the TSE to engage in a consultative approach to examine electoral reforms with a wide range of interested stakeholders, maintaining a climate of dialogue and tolerance.
Chief of Mission Gabriel Mato, shared the key findings of the EFM during a press conference in San Salvador on 28 October 2021. The final report of the mission has been shared with EFM interlocutors and published at http://database.eueom.eu