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El Salvador

Yearbook 2012

El Salvador. In the March 11 congressional and municipal elections, the opposition right-wing party ARENA (Alianza Republicana Nacionalista) became the clear winner and the ruling left-wing party FMLN (Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional) clear loser. Although ARENA was once again the largest in Congress, the strength of the parties remained largely the same, and ARENA still lacked 10 seats to achieve its own majority. The wave champion party GANA (Gran Alianza por la Unidad Nacional), which both parties must court with to get parliamentary majority, therefore became the congressman's big winner with eleven congressional seats.

2012 El Salvador

However, the great loss for the FMLN did not occur in Congress but instead on the municipal level. ARENA retained the mayor post in the capital, San Salvador, the country's second most important political office, through the re-election of Norman Quijano with 63% of the votes cast, against 32% for FMLN candidate Jorge Schafik Handal Vega. That makes Quijano a big favorite for the presidential post in the 2014 election. Although the FMLN won in 92 of the country's 262 municipalities, it lost power to ARENA in several of the country's most important cities. In total, ARENA controls over 52% of the country's municipal residents as against 32% for the FMLN.

According to countryaah, the notoriously high murder rate in El Salvador fell from 14 per day to 6 per day during the year, which, according to the government, was due to effective police fighting against organized crime and the gang ("maras"). However, media claimed that the declining figures were due to an internal ceasefire between the main gang Salvatrucha and Barrio 18.

In June, President Mauricio Funes presented a proposal to allow expatriate citizens to vote in elections in El Salvador. About 2 million Salvadorans reside abroad and their votes will be of major importance in the 2014 presidential election.

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