A former left-wing guerrilla has won the first round in El Salvador’s presidential election but a close result means there will have to be a second round run-off.
Salvador Sanchez Ceren, who was once a rebel commander during the country’s civil war, campaigned on a raft of welfare policies including including pensions.
The close runner-up was conservative Norman Quijano. He had hoped to win on the promise of tough policies including the use of the army to crackdown on El Salvador’s powerful street gangs.
Former president Antonio Saca trailed behind in third place.
With no one achieving the required 50 percent of the vote the two leading candidates will go to a run-off on March 9.
It means the outcome will depend on who Saca’s supporters swing behind.