Statement on the Presidential Elections in El Salvador

March 6, 1983

I would like to express my admiration and support for President Magana and his Government for announcing Presidential elections this year. The decision reflects the profound desire of President Magana and the Political Commission to achieve political reconciliation and to bring peace to that country. Through the effort of the Government's Peace Commission, the Presidential elections will be free and open to all -- I stress all -- political parties and groups who are committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. We know that open, fair, free elections in that country is the political solution we all want. But more importantly, the people of El Salvador have already shown what they want. Their courage in going to the polls in overwhelming numbers last March, despite the threats from the insurgent groups, prove they want a political solution too.

President Magana's announcement is a reaffirmation of his faith and ours that what counts in El Salvador are not bombs and bullets, but the will of the people expressed in open elections.