El Salvador holds historic elections

El Salvador, Mar 15 (Prensa Latina) Salvadoreans are expected to cast their votes today to elect their president, in elections considered historic as they may bring the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) candidate to power.

Nearly 4.20 million people Hill have to decide whether they vote for FMLN candidate Mauricio Funes or his rival from the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) Rodrigo Avila.

Funes, 49, is a TV journalist with a thick record of using programs as a tribune to denounce administrative inefficiency, corruption and other social problems.

Avila is an engineer by profession, but more known for his post as Chief of National Civil Police under governments of Armando Calderon Sol and Antonio Saca.

Funes has been the favorite in surveys since the start of the race, showing the need of the population to undergo a change after 20 years of ARENA governments that have intensified poverty and violence, according to experts.

'We are backing the FMLN candidate because we consider that he is the one who embodies the people's aspirations,' Marco Antonio Cativo, from the Mauricio's Friends Movement, told Prensa Latina in Ilopango.

Several local and international observers have expressed their concern for the atmosphere of violence, intimidation, dirty campaigns and denunciations of fraud that have characterized the electoral process in this country.

In this regard, the Federal Human Rights Office has called on the people to go to the polls en masse, avoid provocations and keep calm at the end of the vote count, when results will be released to know who the next president will be.