Technical problems delay El Salvador vote results

A man casts his vote during legislative and municipal elections on March 1, 2015 in San Salvador (AFP Photo/Marvin Recinos)

San Salvador (AFP) - Technical problems have prevented election authorities from getting a tally in El Salvador's tightly contested congressional vote, officials said on Monday.

President Salvador Sanchez Ceren is hoping that the results of Sunday's vote will see him lock up broader legislative support for his efforts to fight gang violence racking the country.

But as of Monday no vote results had been released because of ongoing "computer programming problems," a federal election commission spokesman told AFP.

Polling stations closed Sunday at 5:00 pm (2300 GMT) and the first results had been expected around 0400 GMT Monday.

Opinion polls predicted the 84-member legislature would remain deeply split, with neither party achieving the 43 seats needed for a simple majority.

Since Sanchez Ceren took office in June last year, he has had to strike alliances with small right-wing parties to achieve a majority and overcome fierce opposition from conservative foe ARENA, the party his FMLN ousted from power in the 2009 elections.

The FMLN and ARENA fought each other in a bloody civil war that lasted from 1980 to 1992, and the divide between them still dominates the country's politics.

The FMLN had a narrow lead heading into the vote, but it was within the margin of error.