"I have invited him to be on the presidential ticket," Avila announced last night at a press conference at ARENA headquarters, surrounding by fully session of COENA, lawmakers, and department heads from the Party.
Almost at the same time that Avila was making the announcement, President Antonio Saca said at another event that with the nomination of tickets running mate - which he said was a "message of opening" - the moment had come once again for the party "close ranks" behind Avila.
Mauricio Funes, FMLN candidate, has an advantage of 10 points over the ARENA candidate, Rodrigo Avila, when it comes to votes.
There is no viable third option, so one of these two will be the one who guides the destiny of the country until 2014.
The main argument of the FMLN candidate is that ARENA has governed the country for 20 consecutive years (four presidential administrations) and has not managed to solve the main problems of the majority of the people. Even in the 21st century, a great part of the populace does not have access to potable water, electricity, and much less a education that will allow them to come out of poverty.
With the presentation of their candidates for mayors and lawmakers, the political parties will start an "intense battle" this week in preparation for the general elections in 2009.
"What we are going to see this weekend, is the start of an intense battle to win over electors of which an average of 20% have still not yet decided who they will vote for," the director of the Public Opinion Institute at the Francisco Gavidia University, Mauricio Henriquez. For Henriquez, the major political parties make an effort to publicly present their candidates, since in surveys most of the population believes that lawmakers "do not work for the people."
With 46.3% of the votes counted, the Elections Tribunal announced that the FMLN had won 37 seats, three more than its main rival, the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance.
According to europapress.es: "When confirmed, these results will give the FMLN will have five more lawmakers than in the previous legislature, and would control the Legislative Assembly, the unicameral organ that is made up of 84 lawmakers, with the support of some of the minority parties, according to the 'El Salvador' daily. The old guerrillas managed to improve in the results especially in the eastern part of the country, which is historically unfavorable to the FMLN.
According to a poll by CID-Gallup, El Salvador's presidential election could be very close. 39% of respondents would vote for Mauricio Funes while 35% would back Rodrigo Ávila.
The article published by Angus Reid Global Monitor on its website states: "In September 2007, Funes became the FMLN’s presidential nominee. In March 2008, Ávila, a former National Police chief, won ARENA’s three-candidate internal nationwide primary."
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