The Turnover in El Salvador

Issue Date July 2009
Volume 20
Issue 3
Page Numbers 143-152
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On 15 March 2009, Mauricio Funes, the candidate of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN)–a former guerrilla movement that laid down its arms in 1992 and reconstituted itself as a political party–won the presidential election in El Salvador. The greatest significance of these elections is likely to be that they mark the country’s first peaceful turnover of power since the nation-state became independent in 1821. But sweeping social and political change will probably be elusive; instead, political and economic constraints are apt to lead to a surprising continuity in public policy.