El Salvador Presidental Race contracting

This from the latest update by CISPES. For more information, visit their election blog.

el-salvador-voterThe Christian Democrat Party (PDC) and National Conciliation Party (PCN) have dropped out of El Salvador’s March 15 presidential election, leaving the two major parties—the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) and the leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN)—as the only parties competing for the presidency.

PDC candidate Carlos Rivas Zamora announced his withdrawal on Tuesday, February 3, citing lack of funds and a lack of confidence in the electoral system.

On the afternoon of February 4, the national leadership of the PCN followed suit, announcing it was withdrawing support for its presidential candidate, Tomas Chévez. Chévez maintains he will continue his candidacy even without the backing of PCN leadership, which has prompted some in the leadership to consider expelling him from the party.

Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) magistrate Walter Araujo stated that an independent Chévez candidacy would be a violation of Salvadoran electoral law, which requires all candidates to be representatives of political parties.

The announcements from both parties come after current President Tony Saca, of the ARENA party, called for a “democratic alliance” between ARENA, the PDC, and the PCN leading up to the March election. FMLN presidential candidate Mauricio Funes has criticized the PDC and PCN for withdrawing from the presidential race, accusing ARENA of having “under-the-table” negotiations with the smaller parties for control of key government departments in the case of an ARENA victory. The PCN—which runs the Treasury Court under Saca’s administration—and the PDC deny these allegations.

While on the national level the leadership of ARENA, the PDC, and the PCN typically collaborate and build alliances, this does not always hold true at the local level. Currently, both Funes and ARENA candidate Rodrigo Ávila are meeting with mayors and local leaders around the country to build alliances, and some PDC mayors have already endorsed one candidate or the other. In the most recent poll by La Prensa Grafica, published on February 1, Funes held a 10-point lead over Avila.


~ by Daniel on February 5, 2009.

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