El Salvador’s Beleaguered Democracy

Issue Date July 2014
Volume 25
Issue 3
Page Numbers 149-158
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Salvadorans went to the polls on 2 February 2014 to select a new president. With current president Mauricio Funes of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) ineligible to run (El Salvador’s constitution prohibits consecutive presidential terms), voters were left to choose among Vice-President Salvador Sánchez Cerén of the FMLN and former San Salvador mayor Norman Quijano of the National Republican Alliance (known as Arena). In an extremely close runoff on March 9, Sánchez Cerén managed to eke out a win against Quijano with 50.1 percent of the vote. The runoff results suggest that El Salvador still remains deeply divided two decades after the end of its civil war. Now Sánchez Cerén must govern a country beset by a feeble economy and rampant violence.