Preliminary election results

Here are preliminary election returns as of 10:40 p.m.

Tony Saca has declared that ARENA has won 35 of the 84 seats in the National Assembly, and the FMLN won 31 seats. In addition, ARENA's traditional ally, the conservative PCN won 13 seats which gives ARENA and PCN a strong ruling majority.

The election in San Salvador is exceedingly close, both Violeta Menjivar of the FMLN Rodrigo Samayoa of ARENA have declared themselves winners.

In mayoral contests, there is not yet a total count of the different municipalities. The FMLN appears to have won in most of the municipalities which neighbor San Salvador and are part of that urban area. Incumbent mayors were reelected in Santa Ana and Santa Tecla. In a result that surprised me, the ARENA candidate won the mayorship in Chalatenango, which is a traditional FMLN stronghold.

Update 11:24 p.m.

El Diario de Hoy has now reduced the margin in the Assembly from to 33 seats for ARENA and 32 seats for the FMLN. The PCN total is now 12. San Salvador is still too close to call.