Parties close their political campaigns with rallies
On the final weekend before El Salvador's presidential elections, the political parties held big rallies in San Salvador to energize the party faithful. The FMLN conducted its rally on Saturday, taking over the Avenue Juan Pablo II, with a large stage and thousands of red-clad partisans waving FMLN banners. "Todos queremos cambio" -- we all want change -- was a refrain from the musicians energizing the crowd. Then Funes took the stage to talk about change, hope, and the necessity for his supporters to go to the polls next Sunday. The Funes campaign asserted on its website that more than 300,000 people filled the avenue to attend the rally, while some 200,000 were watching over the internet and more on television. You watch a videoon YouTube of caravans arriving with FMLN followers for the rally.
ARENA conducted its Festival of National Unity Sunday morning at Cuscatlan Stadium in San Salvador. ARENA faithful marched to the stadium dressed in the tri-color red, white and blue of the party. The seats and field were filled with tens of thousands to hear Rodrigo Avila. Avila promised an administration which would build thousands of houses for those who live in champas, he promised to generate good jobs, and promised that the gang members and extortionists did not want him to win. Avila decried the communists of the FMLN who still had not erased hatred from their hearts and exhorted the gathered thousands with ARENA's values of "God, Country Family and Liberty."
The political parties can campaign through Wednesday under Salvadoran law.