Elections and Events 1970-1972

1970

January: National Agrarian Reform Congress convened in San Salvador

Williams 1997: "In January 1970, the legislative assembly convened a national congress on agrarian reform, which President Sánchez Hernández addressed in no uncertain terms: land reform should be discussed frankly and openly and land reform could not be postponed any more" (page 79).

March 8: Congressional and municipal election

Anderson 1988: Gives mayoralties and seats won by PDC. PPS loses all its mayoralties (page 77).

Caldera T. 1983: "Todos estos factores [see Caldera T. under 1969 above] influyeron de manera desastrosa en la popularidad del PDC, ya que para las elecciones legislativas y municipales de 1970, estos bajaron de 19 a 14 diputados y de tener 80 alcaldías en su poder a tener tan solo 8. En estos comicios surgieron de nuevo maniobras fraudulentas, a tal punto que estas elecciones se consideraron un verdadero retroceso en relación con las últimas que se habían efectuado" (pages 23-24).

Eguizábal 1982?: "A pesar de las maniobras oficiales de intimidación y de fraude, en las elecciones de 1970, los tres partidos que conformaron más adelante la Unión Nacional Opositora (UNO)...obtuvieron más de la tercera parte de los votos. La oposición empezaba a hacer sentir su fuerza" (page 86).

Haggerty 1990: Gives seats and municipalities lost by the PDC in this election (page 27).

Montgomery 1995: "...national elections reduced the opposition’s seats in the National Assembly from almost half to barely a third" (page 62).

Webre 1979: Gives numbers of municipalities won by PDC, PCN, PPS, and UDN (page 136). Gives seats won by PDC.

White 1973: Gives percent of vote won by each party (page 205). Gives number of Assembly seats and municipalities won by the PCN.

Williams 1997: Gives percent of vote and seats won by PCN, seats won by PDC, and municipalities won by PCN (page 79).

July

Williams 1997: Amendments to the electoral law were introduced in the congress "hindering the operation of opposition parties" (page 81).

1972

February 20: Presidential election (Molina / PCN)

Anderson 1988: "In the balloting it appeared that Duarte easily outdistanced the colorless Colonel Molina by 72,000 votes, but the electoral commission took charge and declared Molina ahead by some 100,000 votes" (page 77).

Bland 1992: "1972 was a critical year for democracy in El Salvador. The blatant electoral fraud perpetrated again by the military to maintain its control convinced many Salvadoran democrats that peaceful change was impossible and substantially weakened the position of those who continued to believe that reform could occur" (page 168).

Bowdler 1974: "Voter registration and total votes cast by department, 1972" (page 172). Gives provisional returns as reported by the government and by the opposition, final official returns by party, total votes cast by all parties, and total registered voters.

Caldera T. 1983: Because of the fraud of the 1970 elections, the PDC decided to form a coalition with other opposition parties in the 1972 election, joining with UDN and MNR to form UNO (page 24). "Los del PCN habían previsto que la UNO obtendría más de ciento cincuenta mil votos y ellos obtendrían aproximadamente la misma cantidad. Fue así como a través de asaltos a las juntas departamentales, robo de urnas y anulación de papeletas que estaban a favor de la UNO, el PCN colocó irregularmente más de cien mil votos ‘ganando’ a duras pena, las elecciones presidenciales."

CUDI 1982: Gives number of registered voters, and number and percent who voted (page 581).

Eguizábal 1984: "Después de las elecciones presidenciales de 1972, para mantener su hegemonía, la alianza establecida entre la oligarquía agro-exportadora y el ejército tuvo que ir vaciándose de contenido hasta cerrar definitivamente el espacio político representativo, a pesar del elevado costo que dicha opción tenía desde el punto de vista internacional" (page 17). "El Salvador: resultados electorales 1972" (page 27). Gives for each party the number of presidential votes, legislative votes, and seats won, and mayoralties won by UNO.

El Salvador, año político 1971-72 1973: Gives number of voters registered for the election (1,119,699) and explains that this number is 300,000 less than the number registered in 1970 because all eligible citizens had to re-register to vote in the 1972 election (page 53). Gives votes for PCN, UNO, FUDI, and PPS reported by the CCE and UNO in various sources over a period of several days (pages 56-58). Gives numerous tables showing votes as reported by the CCE and UNO, reflecting discrepancies and anomalies in the reporting (pages 62-76). A selection of the major tables follows. "Resultados oficiales elección presidencial dados por CCE (25 febrero, 1972)" (page 63). Gives by department the votes for the four parties. "Cuadro 8" (page 64) gives votes by departments for the PCN and UNO as reported by the CCE and as recorded by UNO. "Resultados oficiales de las elecciones presidenciales" (page 85). Gives for each department registered voters, votes for each of the four parties, null votes, abstentions, total votes cast, number of registered voters who didn’t vote, and percent this constitutes of registered voters.

El Salvador 1982 1982: "Resorting to fraud, the army altered the election results and installed the PCN candidate" (page 30).

El Salvador. Presidencia 1972: Has many photographs and descriptions of voting in each department. "Como en las elecciones presidenciales ninguno de los candidatos obtuviera mayoría absoluta de votos, la Asamblea Legislativa, proclamó [a los candidatos del PCN] como Presidente y Vice-Presidente...en elección de segundo grado, que tuvo efecto el 25 de febrero de 1972" (page 5). Gives votes for PCN, UNO, PPS, and FUDI (page 6). "Resultado de la votación para elecciones de presidente y vice-presidente de la republica" (page 31). Gives by department the votes for each party, null votes, abstentions, total votes cast, registered voters, and percent that voted.

Haggerty 1990:"Poll watchers for UNO claimed that the final tally nationwide was 327,000 for Duarte and 318,000 for Molina. Tabulations were suspended by the government, however, and a recount was initiated. The official results of that count placed Molina ahead of Duarte by 10,000 votes. The selection of the president thus was relegated to the assembly, where the PCN majority affirmed Molina’s tainted victory after a walkout by opposition deputies" (page 29).

Herman 1984: "In spite of some extraordinary efforts by the government’s ballot box stuffers, it appeared momentarily that the UNO slate had won the February 22nd election when the Central Election Board in San Salvador issued a statement that UNO had prevailed by some 6,000 votes. The victory was short-lived, however, as a three-day news blackout was followed by a carefully revised set of figures giving victory once again to the PCN" (page 99).

LeoGrande 1980: "The opportune time for a ‘centrist solution’ to El Salvador’s socioeconomic ills came in 1972 when the Christian Democrats stood at the summit of their popular support. By all informed accounts, the PDC won the 1972 presidential election. The PCN was able to snatch victory from the jaws of electoral defeat only through blatant fraud and brutal suppression of the resulting protests" (page 1087).

Montgomery 1995: Gives the votes for the top two candidates as reported by UNO (Duarte wins) and by the CCE (Molina wins) (pages 64 and 279).

Schooley 1987: Gives CCE’s varying accounts of voting (page 53).

Webre 1979: "The political crisis that effectively ended El Salvador’s experiment in openness in 1972 resulted from the fact that the government party very nearly lost the presidential election that year" (page 141). Gives CCE and UNO vote counts (page 171). Gives official figures released in recount of votes (page 172). Gives number of votes in San Salvador for UNO and PCN (page 173).

White 1973: Gives the two presidential candidates with the votes they received (page 252).

Williams 1997: "The fact that the PCN faced a strong challenge on both the left and the right did not bode well for its chances on election day. Consequently, the regime began to tamper with the electoral system in order to guarantee the triumph of its presidential, legislative, and municipal candidates. First, the electoral council decided to hold the election for president two weeks before the scheduled date, when voting for all public offices was to have taken place. In this manner, if Molina failed to win an absolute majority, the legislative assembly would still be under the control of the PCN when it convened to choose the next president" (pages 80-81). Describes the election and reporting of results, with the final report giving Molina 10,000 more votes than Duarte. With no absolute majority the election goes to congress where the PCN majority (the opposition walks out) ratifies Molina by a vote of 31 to 0 (page 82).

March 12: Congressional and mayoral election

Caldera T. 1983: "(L)a dirigencia de la UNO le comunicó a su militancia que anularan la papeleta correspondiente a San Salvador, ya que había una disposición en la ley que señalaba que si más de la mitad de la votación era nula la eleción quedaba sin efecto. La respuesta de la población fue sorprendente...Sin embargo, el Consejo Central de Elecciones sostuvo que las votaciones sólo podían anularse a petición de un partido contendiente, y como la UNO no había participado en la elección para diputados en la capital, no tenía por lo tanto, derecho a pedir nulidad" (page 25).

El Salvador, año político 1971-72 1973: "Cuadro 30" (page 102). Gives votes as reported by the CCE in the 1972 presidential and congressional elections in the department of San Salvador. "Resultado de la votación para diputados a la asamblea legislativa y concejos municipales, 12 de marzo de 1972" (page 104). Gives by department the votes in the congressional and mayoral elections for PCN, UNO, FUDI, and PPS, the null votes and abstentions in each election, and the registered voters. Gives the total votes for the country in each election and the number of seats won by each party.

El Salvador 1982 1982: "(T)he PCN-controlled Consejo Central de Elecciones (CCE) disqualified the UNO assembly slate for San Salvador, the largest department and the one in which UNO had greatest support, and at least three other departments" (page 30). Gives seats won nationwide by the UNO.

El Salvador. Presidencia 1972: "Elección de diputados y concejos municipales" (page 6). Gives number of municipalities and seats won by PCN, UNO, PPS, and FUDI. "Resultado de la votación para diputados a la asamblea legislativa y concejos municipales 12 de marzo de 1972" (page 33). Gives by department the total votes for congress and for mayoralties won by the four parties, the null votes and abstentions in congressional and mayoral elections, and the registered voters. Gives total country votes cast in the congressional and mayoral elections and the seats won by each of the four parties.

Montgomery 1995: "(T)he CCE disqualified on technicalities UNO Assembly slates in the six largest departments in the country" (page 63). "Duarte and the UNO then called on voters in the Department of San Salvador to deface their ballots in the Assembly elections" (page 64). Gives number of null votes and total votes.

Webre 1979: "Basing its actions upon legal technicalities and formalities, the CCE tossed out the UNO’s assembly slates in the departments of San Salvador, San Miguel, Usulután, Sonsonate, La Unión, and San Vicente" (page 169). Gives seats and municipalities won by UNO (page 174). After the presidential election UNO "began a campaign to convince its supporters in San Salvador to deface their assembly ballots in protest against the UNO’s exclusion from the race there. Under the Salvadoran electoral law, officials counted defaced ballots as null votes. Any election in which null votes outnumbered the total number of valid votes was itself theoretically null and required a new election" (page 173). Gives number of null votes cast in San Salvador department and valid votes received by the PCN and PPS together (page 174-175). The UNO demands that the election be nullified, the departmental electoral board invalidates the election, but the PCN appeals, and the CCE reverses the lower body’s ruling and declares the results official (pages 175-176).

White 1973: Gives number of seats won by each party (page 259).

Williams 1997: UNO’s ballot-defacing campaign in San Salvador (where it has been disqualified) results in the majority of the votes cast being null (page 85). Gives number of votes cast and number that were null (page 217).

March 25: Uprising by young military officers

El Salvador, año político 1971-72 1973: Describes in detail the attempted coup, which results in Duarte’s being imprisoned, tortured, and sent into exile (pages 109-138).

Haggerty 1990: "The blatancy of the fraud employed to maintain the PCN in power outraged and disillusioned many Salvadorans, including members of the armed forces. One faction of the officer corps, a new Military Youth, attempted to take direct action" (page 29).