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Published: Monday March 10, 2014 MYT 1:50:02 PM
Updated: Monday March 10, 2014 MYT 1:51:14 PM

El Salvador ex-rebel claims victory in tight presidential election

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - Former Marxist guerrilla leader Salvador Sanchez Ceren claimed victory in Sunday's presidential election, as results showed he had a wafer-thin lead over his conservative rival with almost all votes counted.

Sanchez Ceren of the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), the rebel group in the country's 1980-1992 civil war, had 50.11 percent of the vote with returns in from 99.95 percent of polling stations.

His conservative challenger Norman Quijano, the former mayor of San Salvador, had 49.89 percent of the vote. The election tribunal said the race was "extremely tight", but has so far stopped short of declaring a winner.

(Reporting by Michael O'Boyle, Nelson Renteria and Noe Torres)

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