The Electoral Commission of El Salvador ordered a recount in 29 polling stations while the complete official returns show a narrow victory of 0.2% for leftist candidate, Salvador Sanchez Ceren.

This result came as a surprise to observers, who were all expecting a much clearer victory for the left. It was challenged by right-wing candidate, Norman Quijano, who complained of electoral fraud in certain stations.

Sanchez Ceren is the out-going vice-president of the country. He is a former teacher, disciple of Paolo Freire (author of Pedagogy of the Oppressed), and a former guerrilla, who succeeded Schafik Handal as leader of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN).

The presidential debate was not dominated by internal security concerns in spite of the "maras" gang violence, but by social issues and relations with the United States and Venezuela.