Salvador victor seeks consensus with left

SAN SALVADOR (Reuter) - The winner of El Salvador's first post- war presidential elections held talks yesterday with his left-wing opponents, including a former rebel leader, to ensure stability and keep the country's peace process alive. Fresh from his emphatic victory in last Sunday's runoff election, president-elect Armando Calderon Sol held nearly two hours of talks with the defeated opposition candidate, Ruben Zamora, and with a former guerrilla leader, Schafik Handal.

The three men, joined by the United States ambassador, Alan Flanigan, focused on setting an agenda for electoral and judicial reforms laid out in UN-brokered peace accords that ended El Salvador's 12-year civil war two years ago. Trying to return calm to a country polarised by a bitter election campaign, they discussed how to resurrect the process of national reconciliation.

'The route the country takes in the next few years is going to depend heavily on that,' said Mr Handal, a Communist former rebel commander in the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) which backed Mr Zamora's presidential bid, and took a strong second place in last month's legislative elections. 'We have regressed in the campaign . . . The language used was the language of war and creates a psychology of confrontation in which anything can happen,' Mr Handal said.

Few believe Mr Calderon Sol and his right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) party will be able to govern without cutting deals with the FMLN. Mr Zamora won nearly 400,000 votes and the FMLN, taking part in its first-ever elections just 15 months after laying down its guns, won 21 seats in the 84-member Legislative Assembly that begins work on 1 May .

'We are the second strongest power and he will have to negotiate with us. The peace process requires it,' said Joaquin Villalobos, a leading FMLN commander throughout the war.

But Mr Calderon Sol's position in tough negotiations over the coming months was boosted by his margin of victory in Sunday's runoff vote. With more than 99 per cent of votes counted, he had 68.3 per cent support and Mr Zamora trailed more than 320,000 votes behind.

The UN deployed some 900 observers from 52 countries to ensure that the elections were fair and clean.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee