El Salvador. The March 15 presidential election was
historic. It was not only the fact that the right-wing party
Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA), after two decades
of dominance of Salvadoran politics, was voted out that made
the election special. Historically, the winner of the
election was Mauricio Funes, a candidate for the left-wing
party Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN),
formerly a guerrilla group that fought against the
government in the 1980s. Admittedly, the profit margin was
the lowest possible - 51 percent against 49 - but for the
first time ever, a left-wing party won the presidential
power in El Salvador, which also joins the left-wing wave
that has crossed the region in recent years.
countryaah, Funes was installed in the presidential office on June 1.
His government program focused on combating poverty,
increasing crime and increasing political polarization in
the country. The following month, he was supported by no
less than 86 percent of those polled in an opinion poll.
There are fears, however, that the FMLN in office may
undergo a split, especially as Funes, to win sympathies
among various electoral groups, was forced to renounce a
classy leftist rhetoric during the election campaign.
At the congress, Fune's government capacity is at the
forefront. Since the congressional elections, which were
held in January, although the FMLN is the largest party with
35 out of 84 seats, it has no majority of its own. The right
can thus oppose Funes, although the loser in the
presidential election Rodrigo Ávila promised a "constructive
opposition". In October, however, twelve of ARENA's
congressmen jumped off, weakening the opposition's position.
Furthermore, most of the FMLN congressmen constitute the
hard-core old core of guerrilla warriors, whose influence in
the party Funes wanted to dampen.
In the local elections, which were held at the same time
as the congressional elections in January, the FMLN won big
and doubled the number of mayoral positions but lost the
most important - the capital of San Salvador, which the
party dominated for 12 years. The first tug-of-war between
the right-wing opposition and Funes, which involved
appointments to the Supreme Court, was decided in mid-July
through a political compromise that the government largely
opposed. Only two of the five judges could be appointed by