San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

El Salvador’s Ruling Party Wins Legislative Plurality

SAN SALVADOR – The ruling conservative ARENA party, which has governed El Salvador since 1989, won 34 of the 84 seats in the unicameral legislature, while the leftist FMLN took 32.

The results were announced Friday by the head of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal,Walter Araujo, at a press conference following the official end of the legislative vote count for the March 12 parliamentary and municipal elections.

Most of the remaining seats will be occupied by members of two other rightwing parties and, according to analysts, it will not be difficult for ARENA to negotiate with those groupings to get most legislation passed.

In addition to electing representatives to the Legislative Assembly, Salvadorans also chose 20 members of the Central American Parliament and 262 mayors across the country.

The FMLN, a former guerrilla army that became a political party in 1992 after peace accords ended a 12-year civil war, won the mayorship of San Salvador, the biggest prize in Sunday’s election (NT, March 17).

In that race, Violeta Menjivar, a 55-year-old physician, edged out ARENA’s Rodrigo Samayoa by a razor-thin margin after violence in the streets marred the vote count.


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