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El Salvador: exit left

Thursday, July 19, 2012

WHAT President Mauricio Funes is meeting strong resistance to his plan to appoint to the Supreme Court two new judges, who are compatible with the agenda of Funes’ Faribundo Martí Liberation Front (FMLN, using the party’s Spanish initials).

WHY The main opposition parties say that the president can only appoint one judge every 30 days. Elections last March gave legislative control to a rightwing coalition of ARENA and GANA, which would not have approved a second candidate, proposed by Funes after the congressional change.

WHAT’S NEXT Funes, who has a different interpretation of the rules governing judicial appointments, insists that he will swear in both candidates, even though the rest of the court says that it won’t seat them. For their part, both ARENA and GANA say they will refuse to pass any laws, proposed by the executive, until Funes withdraws his support for one of the candidates. 
If Funes and the FMLN lose the fight over the court, it will likely be the first of a series of setbacks. The left party, which recently nominated hardlliner Salvador SánchezCerén as its candidate for presidential elections slated for 2014, seems destined for a third-place finish, behind both GANA and ARENA, based on recent poll results.

For more information, please contact  Esteban Alvarez, en [email protected]