Vice President and Minister of Education, Salvador Sanchez Ceren says that the FMLN should complete the process of selecting its presidential candidate in October and that the candidate should be ratified at the ordinary national convention scheduled for November. The only surprise will be if it isn't Sanchez Ceren as the nominee.
I still believe that it will be more difficult for the FMLN to win with Sanchez Ceren than Oscar Ortiz. It won't be impossible, just more difficult. While many of us, including President Mauricio Funes himself, believe that Funes' candidacy was essential for the FMLLN's victory in the 2009 presidential election, Sanchez Ceren and other historic leaders probably hold closer to the interpretation that Funes only won because he was on the FMLN ticket. That's true also. They're also counting on the fact that the FMLN's growth in electoral support in each presidential election bodes well for the party in 2014 regardless of its candidate.
In 1994's first round election, 331,629 voted for the FMLN. That was good for 25% of the national vote. In 1999, in what most would consider a disappointing performance, Facundo Gardado received 343,742 votes, or 29%. In 2004 with another poor candidate, Schafik Handal captured 734,469 votes, or 36%. Then in 2009, the FMLN with Funes received 1,354,000 votes and secured a first round victory with just over 51% of the vote.
The FMLN increased its votes and vote share in each presidential election and will likely do the same in 2014 even with (someone like) Sanchez Ceren.
There's a certain logic to that. However, I would still maintain that the FMLN underperformed in both 1999 and 2004 because of their candidates. They are likely to do the same in 2014 with Sanchez Ceren.