Schakowsky leads House members in letter ahead of elections in El Salvador

Today, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a Chief Deputy Whip and member of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, led 20 of her Democratic colleagues in the House of Representatives on a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson regarding the upcoming legislative and municipal elections in El Salvador. In the letter, the 21 members told Secretary Tillerson they wrote“with concerns regarding the current state of [El Salvador’s] democratic institutions and U.S. involvement in Salvadoran domestic affairs.”

Specifically, the letter voiced the members’ concerns with the Constitutional Chamber of El Salvador’s Supreme Court and how it has weakened and undermined electoral integrity in El Salvador. In their letter, the members outlined several examples of how the Court has overstepped its authority and stated:

“The Chamber’s decisions have significantly altered the integrity of the electoral process, which is essential in any democracy.”

The members discussed how El Salvador’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) has recently been weakened by the Court Chamber’s actions. They wrote: “The TSE has been essential in creating a stable democratic system in El Salvador over the past 25 years. Now the TSE’s structure and impartiality has been manipulated by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court.”

The Representatives continued by stating the importance of American government emissaries remaining, and being perceived as, neutral in the upcoming election and all partisan arenas. They closed their letter by saying:

“As members of Congress with a deep commitment to the democratic process in El Salvador, we seek your assurance that the State Department will remain neutral in its comments and actions regarding the electoral process, the TSE, the Constitutional Chamber, and the Supreme Court. […] We look forward to working with you to ensure that the United States promotes El Salvador’s ability to conduct free and fair elections through a truly democratic process, without any interference.”

The letter was signed by Reps. Schakowsky (IL), Vargas (CA), Johnson (GA), Serrano (NY), Kaptur (OH), Lee (CA), Khanna (CA), Davis (IL), Capuano (MA), Grijalva (AZ), Barragan (CA), Raskin (MD), Pocan (WI), Kelly (IL), Jackson Lee (TX), Lowenthal (CA), Holmes Norton (DC), Gutierrez (IL), Ellison (MN), Beyer (VA) and Jayapal (WA.

The full text of the letter is available here.

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    repName Jan Schakowsky  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Chicago Office
    5533 N. Broadway
    Chicago, IL 60640
    district 9th District of Illinois  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2017  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2017  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 20, 2017  
    repStateABBR IL  
    repDistrict 9  
    repState Illinois  
    repDistrictText 9th  
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