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Opposition Party Announces Boycott

May 21, 2004

SAN SALVADOR (AFP) –Theopposition left-wing Farabundo MartíNational Liberation Front (FMLN)announced this week that none of itsmembers, including 31 lawmakers, willattend the June 1 swearing-in ceremonyof President-elect Antonio Saca.According to Leonel González, coordinatorgeneral of FMLN, the March 21electoral victory of Saca’s ruling NationalRepublican Alliance (ARENA) wasbased as “illegitimate” and “dirty campaigning”intended to scare Salvadoransinto thinking a vote for the FMLN was avote for communism.Saca, 39, defeated FMLN candidateand former guerrilla leader SchafikHandal by a margin of 57.7% to 35.7% inthe elections last March. ARENA hasbeen El Salvador’s ruling party since1989.

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