El Salvador's three biggest political parties - the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), and the Grand National Alliance (GANA) - have begun to set their sights on the 2014 presidential elections, following March's legislative and municipal elections.
The FMLN hopes to win the presidency that they thought that they had won in 2009. ARENA will look to stop bleeding support and to prevent the country's leftward drift. Finally, for GANA, the 2014 elections will provide a chance to break the FMLN and ARENA's dominance of the country's political system.
The leftist FMLN won the presidency of El Salvador in 2009, nearly 30 years after the revolutionary group formed in 1980. The FMLN would spend the next 12 years fighting against the US-backed military and Salvadoran government in a war that killed approximately 75,000 Salvadorans, the majority of whom were civilians. Following the 1992 peace accords, the FMLN worked to remake itself as a viable political party. After becoming the legislative assembly's largest political bloc in 2000, the FMLN finally captured the elusive presidency in 2009. To do so, however, the revolutionary FMLN had to enter into an alliance with a non-revolutionary, Mauricio Funes. In many ways, then, the FMLN still hasn't controlled the presidency.I can't say that I wrote anything controversial. The FMLN leadership wants Sanchez Ceren as its candidate even though it's going to be more difficult to win with him rather than Oscar Ortiz, the popular mayor of Santa Tecla. Ortiz gives them a better chance of winning but the difficult relationship that the FMLN has had with Mauricio Funes is leading them to think twice about another "moderate."
What do you think? Can the FMLN win with Ortiz? I think it's possible, just less likely.