Salvadoran legislative and local elections, 2012

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Salvadoran legislative election, 2012
El Salvador
2009 ←
11 March 2012
→ Next

All 84 seats to the Legislative Assembly
43 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  Alfredo Cristiani.jpg
Leader Alfredo Cristiani Medardo González Andres Rovira
Party ARENA FMLN GANA
Last election 39.8%, 33 seats 36.7%, 31 seats New party
Seats before 18 35 16 [Note 1]
Seats won 33 31 11
Seat change Increase 1 Decrease 4 Increase 11
Coats of arms of El Salvador.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
El Salvador

Legislative and local elections were held in El Salvador on 11 March 2012[1] to choose 84 members of the legislative assembly and 262 mayors. The election was carried out by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. The opposition Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) narrowly defeated the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) and its ally Grand Alliance for National Unity (GANA).

Background[edit]

Following the 2009 presidential election, the first ever president from the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), Mauricio Funes, was elected following the end of the Salvadoran civil war.

This election was seen as a test of Funes' government since it was the first election since he came to power. Prior to the election, the FMLN controlled the Legislative Assembly in alliance with Grand Alliance for National Unity (GANA), dissidents from the conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA).[2]

Parties[edit]

In addition to ARENA, FMLN and GANA, six smaller parties fielded candidates. ARENA is led by Alfredo Cristiani, a former president during the civil war; FMLN is led by Medardo González, a former guerrilla chief; and GANA is led by former member of ARENA and president Elías Antonio Saca.[2]

The National Conciliation Party and the Christian Democratic Party were both dissolved by a Supreme Court of Justice verdict in 2011. Technically, they would have been deregistered after their electoral setback in 2004 (less than 3%), but a 2005 decree saved them from being folded and allowed them to carry on. The Supreme Court ruled this decree to be unconstitutional and eventually disbanded the parties.[3] However, both parties continued their political work and registered as the National Coalition[4] and Party of Hope, respectively.[5]

Campaign[edit]

ARENA's campaign issues included a tough response to criminal and youth gangs, which was a concern with 14 murders a day, according to government figures. FMLN campaigned on promises of social programmes and job creation, where unemployment is 34% (though down from 40% before Funes took office).[2]

In January, Funes appointed army General Francisco Salinas to replace Carlos Ascencio, who had resigned to join the foreign service, as head of the national police. For this, Funes was criticised by members of his own party who alleged that appointing someone from the military to head the police was in contravention of the both the Constitution of El Salvador and the Chapultepec Peace Accords.[6]

Opinion polls[edit]

The Central American University carried out an opinion poll which showed the FMLN alliance was leading with 27.8%, but closely followed by ARENA with 26.4%.[2] According to a CID-Gallup poll for the daily newspaper La Página, carried out from 16–19 February, ARENA had the support of 34% of voters, FMLN followed with 32% of the voters and GANA, a faction of ARENA, was third with 10% of the voters.[7]

Election[edit]

The voting stations were scheduled to open from 7:00 to 17:00, but many opened late.[8] After voting, Funes called on the electorate to help him "guarantee that the changes that are taking place are strengthened, and not turned back."

Legislative election[edit]

e • d  Summary of the 10 March 2012 Salvadoran Legislative Assembly election results
Party Votes % Seats +/–
Nationalist Republican Alliance (Alianza Republicana Nacionalista) 870,418 39.76% 33 Increase 1
Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional) 804,760 36.76% 31 Decrease 4
Grand Alliance for National Unity (Alianza por la Unidad Nacional) 210,101 9.6% 11 Increase 11
National Coalition (Concertación Nacional)1 157,074 7.18% 74 Decrease 4
Party of Hope (Partido de la Esperanza)2 60,486 2.76% 14 Decrease 4
Democratic Change (Cambio Democrático) 46,838 2.14% 1 Steady 0
National Liberal Party (Partido Nacional Liberal) 14,379 0.66% 0 Steady 0
People's Party (Partido Popular) 10,952 0.50% 0 Steady 0
Independents3 14,098 0.63% 0 Steady 0
Totals 2,215,589 100.00% 84
1Compared to National Conciliation Party in 2009.
2Compared to Christian Democratic Party in 2009.
3Five independent candidates. Percentage and votes are cumulative.
4A MP from Chalatenango that won, ran on a joint CN and PES ticket and got 17,072 votes, or 0.78% (counted here for CN).
Source: Supreme Electoral Tribunal

Municipal elections[edit]

The election also chose mayors of 262 towns and cities.[2]

After the polls closed, but before the Supreme Electoral Tribunal had published the official results, ARENA candidate and the incumbent mayor Norman Quijano declared himself winner of the mayoral race in the capital, San Salvador.[9] He beat the FMLN's Jorge Shafick Handal, the son of former FMLN leader Schafik Handal.[10]

Of the 14 district capitals, ARENA won control of nine town halls, FMLN won control of three town halls, while GANA and the National Coalition each won control of one town hall.[11]


e • d  Summary of the 10 March 2012 Salvadoran Municipal election result
Departments Municipalities Mayor Party Margin %
San Salvador San Salvador** Norman Quijano* ARENA 52,588
Ciudad Delgado FMLN/CD*** 347
Mejicanos ARENA 599
Soyapango ARENA 267
Cuscatancingo FMLN 3,342
San Marcos FMLN 514
Ilopango ARENA 668
Nejapa FMLN 248
Apopa ARENA 3,107
San Martin ARENA 406
Panchimalco FMLN 2,947
Aguilares FMLN/CD*** 91
Tonacatepeque ARENA 2,495
Santo Tomás ARENA 1,811 47.73%
Santiago Texacuangos ARENA 1,029
El Paisnal FMLN 1,279 60.43%
Guazapa CN 800
Ayutuxtepeque ARENA 416
Rosario de Mora FMLN 637
Santa Ana Santa Ana** FMLN/CD*** 399
Chalchuapa FMLN 2,831
Metapán CN 2,101
Coatepeque ARENA 992
El Congo CN 466
Texistepeque PES 361 36.69%
Candelaria de la Frontera ARENA 4,208
San Sebastián Salitrillo FMLN 355
Santa Rosa Guachipilín ARENA 91
Santiago de la Frontera ARENA 905
El Porvenir CN 486
Masahuat CN 187
San Antonio Pajonal ARENA 377 57.22%
San Miguel San Miguel** GANA 7,307
Chinameca ARENA 971
El Tránsito FMLN 486 38.07%
Ciudad Barrios PES 883 35.5%
Chirilagua ARENA 299 47.45%
Sesori CN/PES*** 8
San Rafael Oriente GANA 262 32.99%
Moncagua FMLN 1,231
Lolotique FMLN 132 33.09%
San Jorge FMLN 394
Chapeltique CD 885 42.69%
San Gerardo ARENA 8 49.92%
Carolina ARENA 407 53.74%
Quelepa FMLN 368 53.31%
San Luis de la Reina FMLN 413 52.09%
Nuevo Edén de San Juan ARENA 12
Nueva Guadalupe FMLN 138 35.31%
Uluazapa FMLN 51 49.86%
Comacarán FMLN 783 69.3%
San Antonio del Mosco ARENA 560
La Libertad Santa Tecla** FMLN/CD*** 648
Quezaltepeque ARENA 164
Ciudad Arce FMLN/CD*** 167 52.86%
San Juan Opico ARENA 1,163
Colón ARENA 4,527
La Libertad FMLN/PES*** 731
Antiguo Cuscatlán ARENA 9,666 74.34%
Comasagua FMLN 356 42.14%
San Pablo Tacachico FMLN 285
Jayaque ARENA 887 56.53%
Huizúcar ARENA 690 53.45%
Tepecoyo GANA 403
Teotepeque ARENA 1,090
Chiltiupán ARENA 1,377 62.23%
Nuevo Cuscatlán FMLN/CD*** 108
Tamanique ARENA 1,520 52.18%
Sacacoyo ARENA 1,422 59.87%
San José Villanueva CN 420 35.61%
Zaragoza CN 42
Talnique ARENA 978
San Matías ARENA 672 50.94%
Jicalapa ARENA 1,175
Usulután Usulután** CN 82
Jiquilisco FMLN 4,469
Berlín CN 267
Santiago de María CN 553
Jucuapa FMLN 510
Santa Elena · FMLN 1,074
Jucuarán FMLN 282 39.64%
San Agustín FMLN 329 53.75%
Ozatlán FMLN 210 50.37%
Estanzuelas FMLN 60 39.38%
Mercedes Umaña FMLN 378
Alegría FMLN 1,591
Concepción Batres FMLN 412
San Francisco Javier FMLN 76
Puerto El Triunfo CD 371
Tecapán FMLN 36 50.26%
San Dionisio ARENA 492 43.76%
Ereguayquín ARENA 339 52.35%
Santa María ARENA 747
Nueva Granada ARENA 435 55.12%
El Triunfo· ARENA 549 49.3%
San Buenaventura FMLN 250
California ARENA 507 70.45%
Sonsonate Sonsonate** ARENA 7,206
Izalco ARENA 597
Acajutla FMLN 3,014
Armenia ARENA 4,082 63.96%
Nahuizalco FMLN 2,901 41.85%
Juayúa CN 1,171 27.76%
San Julián FMLN 394 37.17%
Sonzacate ARENA 765
San Antonio del Monte CD 679
Nahuilingo ARENA 565
Cuisnahuat FMLN 38 36.09%
Santa Catarina Masahuat FMLN/CD*** 203
Caluco CN 749 41.96%
Santa Isabel Ishuatán ARENA 818
Salcoatitán PES 122 27.3%
Santo Domingo de Guzman CN 108
La Unión La Unión** ARENA 2,698
Santa Rosa de Lima ARENA 217
Pasaquina GANA 48
San Alejo ARENA 1,068
Anamorós FMLN 126
El Carmen GANA 519 37.42%
Conchagua ARENA 142 39.36%
El Sauce GANA 25 34.91%
Lislique ARENA 1,677
Yucuaiquín ARENA 188
Nueva Esparta ARENA 175 40.54%
Polorós ARENA 306
Bolivar ARENA 775 62.43%
Concepción de Oriente · ARENA 409 49.74%
Intipucá ARENA 369 46.69%
San Jose las Fuentes ARENA 100
Yayantique ARENA 637 44.24%
Meanguera del Golfo ARENA 227 58.64%
La Paz Zacatecoluca** FMLN 5,084
Santiago Nonualco GANA 481
San Juan Nonualco ARENA 295
San Pedro Masahuat FMLN 905
Olocuilta ARENA 1,920
San Pedro Nonualco FMLN 265
San Francisco Chinameca ARENA 188 39.35%
San Juan Talpa GANA 590
El Rosario FMLN 419
San Rafael Obrajuelo ARENA 1,188
Santa María Ostuma ARENA 632
San Luis Talpa GANA 1,222
San Antonio Masahuat ARENA 184 39.87%
San Miguel Tepezontes CN 60
San Juan Tepezontes CN 34 48.1%
Tapalhuaca FMLN 292 43.27%
Cuyultitán ARENA 49 32.47%
Paraíso de Osorio CN 1 47.21%
San Emigdio FMLN 12 35.67%
Jerusalén FMLN 237 56.56%
Mercedes La Ceiba GANA 428 71.01%
San Luis La Herradura FMLN 1,521
Chalatenango Chalatenango** ARENA 439
Nueva Concepción FMLN 81 41.17%
La Palma FMLN 261
Tejutla CN 882
La Reina CN 395
Arcatao FMLN 223
San Ignacio ARENA 256
Dulce Nombre de María ARENA 42 42.06%
Citalá ARENA 1,030 59.28%
Agua Caliente ARENA 352 38.2%
Concepción Quezaltepeque FMLN 222 52.01%
Nueva Trinidad FMLN 364 68.09%
Las Vueltas FMLN 630 86%
Comalapa ARENA 458 58.11%
San Rafael ARENA 39 27.53%
Las Flores FMLN 611 88.25%
Ojos de Agua ARENA 348 41.02%
Nombre de Jesús FMLN 392 57.96%
Potonico ARENA 11 50.04%
San Francisco Morazán ARENA 134 39.22%
Santa Rita ARENA 606 62.21%
La Laguna ARENA 168
San Isidro Labrador FMLN 158 71.34%
San Antonio de la Cruz FMLN 130 55.34%
El Paraíso ARENA 124 37.45%
San Miguel de Mercedes CN 805 75.43%
San Luis del Carmen FMLN 143 50.07%
San José Cancasque FMLN 42 50.94%
San Antonio Los Ranchos FMLN 306 76.37%
El Carrizal FMLN 329 59.53%
San Fernando ARENA 60 52.25%
Azacualpa FMLN 142 58.15%
San Francisco Lempa FMLN 21 36.95%
Cuscatlán Cojutepeque** ARENA 3,079
Suchitoto FMLN 3,730
San Pedro Perulapán FMLN 3,337 43.4%
San José Guayabal ARENA 751 52.88%
Tenancingo FMLN 133 44.4%
San Rafael Cedros ARENA 291
Candelaria CN 1,745
El Carmen ARENA 799 49.98%
Monte San Juan PES 605 34.51%
San Cristobal ARENA 398
Santa Cruz Michapa CN 141 36.99%
San Bartolomé Perulapía FMLN 146
San Ramon ARENA 40 41.2%
El Rosario ARENA 315 44.9%
Oratorio de Concepción CN 139 35.6%
Santa Cruz Analquito GANA 464 61.41%
Ahuachapán Ahuachapán** ARENA 5,395
Atiquizaya ARENA 1,049
San Francisco Menéndez PES 1,188
Tacuba ARENA 167
Concepción de Ataco ARENA 1,229 54.55%
Jujutla ARENA 2,398
Guaymango FMLN 1,793
Apaneca ARENA 944
San Pedro Puxtla FMLN/CD*** 8 50.36%
San Lorenzo FMLN 434
Turín CN 1,390
El Refugio ARENA 493 42.68%
Morazán San Francisco Gotera** ARENA 3,210 56.94%
Jocoro FMLN 796
Corinto ARENA 1,305 54.08%
Sociedad FMLN 450
Cacaopera FMLN 280
Guatajiagua ARENA 259 34.09%
El Divisadero FMLN 907
Jocoaitique ARENA 108 52.06%
Osicala GANA 436
Chilanga ARENA 407
Meanguera FMLN 573
Torola FMLN 30
San Simon FMLN 461 42%
Delicias de Concepción GANA 24 49.6%
Joateca GANA 78 50.38%
Arambala FMLN 133 40.09%
Lolotiquillo ARENA 416 55.02%
Yamabal ARENA 69 37.76%
Yoloaiquín ARENA 714
San Carlos ARENA 461 51.99%
El Rosario GANA 8 39.24%
Perquín FMLN 178 41.59%
Sensembra ARENA 271
Gualococti ARENA 195 45.3%
San Fernando GANA 134
San Isidro FMLN 237 50.94%
San Vicente San Vicente** ARENA 6,386
Tecoluca FMLN 1,025
San Sebastián ARENA 1,210 53.54%
Apastepeque GANA 1,356
San Esteban Catarina FMLN 507
San Ildefonso FMLN 93
Santa Clara FMLN 119 52.28%
San Lorenzo FMLN 371
Verapaz FMLN 132
Guadalupe CN/PES*** 4
Santo Domingo CN/PES*** 7
San Cayetano Istepeque ARENA 69 49.28%
Tepetitán FMLN 74 40.46%
Cabañas Sensuntepeque** ARENA 5,394
Ilobasco ARENA 2,780 48.35%
Victoria ARENA 722
San Isidro ARENA 641 42.71
Jutiapa ARENA 1,275 63.74%
Tejutepeque ARENA 169
Dolores ARENA 84 50.44%
Cinquera FMLN 39 49.45%
Guacotecti CN 280 34.39%
*Incumbent.
**Department capitals.
***Joint candidates.
Totals 262
Source: Supreme Electoral Tribunal (pdf)

Reaction[edit]

San Salvador's re-elected mayor Norman Quijano called the result "historic" and announced that the party was "going to turn the country around."[12]

Analysis[edit]

A strong showing for ARENA was read as a hindrance to Funes' implementation of his pledged social programmes two years before his term ends.[13]

The president and his FMLN administration are likely to be dependent on the support of GANA, which has already helped the government with passing fiscal reform bills during the last legislators' term.[12] The Christian Science Monitor read the result as a "litmus test" for President Mauricio Funes before the next presidential election.[14]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ GANA was founded after the last election in 2009, and thus had no seats at election time. At the time of founding, 16 seats were occupied by those who broke away from ARENA.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Organization of American States". Oas.org. 1 August 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Right-wing party leads in Salvadoran polls – Americas". Al Jazeera English. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  3. ^ El Salvador Supreme Court disbands two parties, BBC News, 30 April 2011, retrieved 12 March 2012 
  4. ^ "TSE anuncia inscripción del partido Concertación Nacional", El Salvador Noticias, 23 September 2011, retrieved 12 March 2012 
  5. ^ "TSE ordena inscripción Partido de la Esperanza", La Prensa Grafica, 5 October 2011, retrieved 12 March 2012 
  6. ^ "Salvadoran President Funes criticised for police choice". BBC. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "Encuesta Cid-Gallup: FMLN 34%, ARENA 32%, GANA 10%", La Página, 24 February 2012 
  8. ^ "AFP: Right-wing party holds slim lead in El Salvador vote". Google. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Norman Quijano se declara ganador por San Salvador", El Diario de Hoy, 11 March 2012 
  10. ^ Disputa por la Alcaldía de San Salvador, ElSalvador.com, retrieved 12 March 2012 
  11. ^ "ARENA gana 9 Alcaldías de Cabeceras departamentales, FMLN 3, Gana 1, CN 1", El Salvador Noticias, 12 March 2012 
  12. ^ a b Renteria, Nelson (12 March 2012), Ruling leftists suffer setback in El Salvador vote, Reuters 
  13. ^ "PressTV – Right-wing opposition party takes narrow lead in El Salvador elections". Presstv.ir. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  14. ^ http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/Latin-America-Monitor/2012/0312/El-Salvador-elections-Another-test-for-Latin-America-s-left