Funes speaks of reconciliation; Avila accepts defeat
On the evening of his historic election as the first president from a leftist party in El Salvador, Funes came to the microphone in the Sheraton Presidente Hotel in San Salvador to declare himself the winner of the elections. After thanking the party members and family who had worked for his election, Funes immediately struck a note of reconciliation, calling to renew the spirit of reconciliation which had been the basis for the 1992 Peace Accords. Noting that ARENA had now "passed into the opposition," Funes also let it be known that he intended to listen to them and they would be "respected and heard." Funes indicated that he would seek to work together with president Tony Saca for a smooth transition of government. Funes struck the moderate leftist themes which had marked his campaign, assuring small, medium and large business owners that he understood the need to have a vibrant economy and a government which was respectful of contract/property rights. But Funes also indicated that his administration would act with a "preferential option for the poor," a reference to liberation theology and the work of murdered archbishop Oscar Romero. El Faro covers the speech here.
Rodrigo Avila came in front of the cameras later with ARENA party faithful and President Tony Saca standing close by. Avila promised a constructive opposition, made a call for unity to his party, and asked God to give wisdom to Mauricio Funes and the FMLN as they govern the country. El Faro covers the speech here.