Monday, January 12, 2009

Upcoming election in El Salvador

This merits particular attention as the reformed FMLN party (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front; formerly the communist insurgent movement of the same name) is strongly contesting the January 18th election for the Legislative Assembly, and their candidate is leading in the polls for the Presidential election coming up in March. *Here is AngusReid Global Monitor's background report*, with links to current polling data.

The most worrisome possibility of a strong showing by the FMLN is that there are historical ties to D. Ortega's bunch in Nicaragua, and more recent associations with H. Chavez' Bolivarian Socialist movement. So far, even the FMLN candidate Mauricio Funes has said they aren't in the same boat as Chavez...
On Oct. 9 (2008), Funes dismissed critics who suggest that he would align his policies with those of left-wing Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez if elected, saying, "The fact that we have good relations with Venezuela doesn’t mean that we breathe through Venezuela’s nose or through Hugo Chávez’s nose."
But renewed recognition of the Cuban regime is on the table, and then there are all the possible issues of having a(nother) CAFTA-member nation potentially joining in the Bolivarian bloc.

On the other side, the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA; the longstanding conservative party) has a law and order candidate running for President in former National Police chief Rodrigo Ávila. Were his tough stance against groups like MS-13 equalled by a tough stance on political corruption, he might be an ideal choice.

1 comment:

Kate said...

I think what people fail to realize is that while Funes is relatively moderate (operative word: relatively), the people behind him in the FMLN are not. His VP candidate is quite radical, which is why he has been absent during the campaign season. My friends in San Salvador are not terribly optimistic. That the ARENA candidate leaves much to be desired certainly doesn't help...