El Salvador political parties. Salvadoran democracy has a multi-party system that allows multiple political parties across the political spectrum to run for any local and national election.
The political parties can put forward candidates for municipality mayors and for president of the country. Each political party that meets and maintains the minimum requirements is overseen by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE).
Each political party has its own set of rules that members have to obey. Also, each of these parties has its own way of deciding who will compete for each municipality mayor or for president.
The political parties can go along on the elections or make a coalition with any other political parties. The following are the current political parties in El Salvador.
New Ideas or Nuevas Ideas (N).
New Ideas or Nuevas ideas is a new political party and movement created by President Nayib Bukele, which was legalized in August 2018. Right now, this political party has no official representative or Deputies in the Salvadoran General Assembly.
The political party was created after Nayib Bukele, at the time mayor of San Salvador, was kicked out of the FMLN political party. You can visit the New Ideas website if you want more information about the political party.
As of right now, May 2020, New Ideas is projected that by the end of the 2021 elections, it will officially become the number one political party in the country.
This projection is based on the approval rate of President Nayib Bukele and predictions from all influential polling experts.
Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA)
ARENA is one of the oldest political parties in the country, it was created in the mid-1980s during the Salvadoran armed conflict. Over the last 30 years, ARENA has been one of the most influential political parties in the country.
The right-wing political party controlled the Salvadoran presidency or executive branch from 1989 to 2009, having four administrations. Additionally, since 1989 to the present, it has had a large number of congressmen or Deputies.
As of today, 2020, even though the ARENA political party has the most number of Deputies in the General Assembly or legislative branch, the party is in decline.
According to experts and polling organizations, in the upcoming 2021 elections, ARENA will lose a significant portion of its political representation, especially at the legislative branch.
Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN)
The FMLN or left-wing political party began in 1991, after the peace accords that ended the Salvadoran civil war. Over the last 30 years, the FMLN has had two presidents from 2009 to 2019.
Additionally, from 2009 to 2019, this political party has had a large number of Deputies in the Salvadoran General Assembly.
As of today, 2020, the FMLN has 23 Deputies and controls many municipalities all over the country. However, the left-wing party is in a political downfall.
Many experts and prominent polling organizations estimate that after the 2021 election, this political party will lose the vast majority of Deputies.
These experts believe that the FMLN downfall is due to the popularity of President Nayib Bukele and its political party.
Nevertheless, the allegations of corruption against ex-president Funes, now a fugitive, and the alleged links between gangs and the FMLN, are more damaging to the party.
Grand Alliance for National Unity (GANA)
The Salvadoran political party, Grand Alliance for National Unity or GANA, was officially established in May 2010. This center-right party was created by people who defected from the right-wing political party ARENA.
As of today, 2020, GANA is the third influential political party at the General assembly. Of the 84 Deputies at the General Assembly, GANA has 10 of them, which puts them in third place, behind the FMLN and ARENA.
Officially, GANA is the political party that controls the Executive branch or presidency. Nayib Bukele, the current president, won the election under the GANA political party flag, even though he is the founder of the New Ideas political party.
Nayib Bukele was not allowed to run for president under the New Ideas party, so he was forced to run under a different flag, in this case, under GANA.
National Concertation Party (PCN)
From the 1960’s all the way to the 1979 military coup, the PCN political party was the most powerful political party in the country; during this period, the PCN was closely associated with the Salvadoran military.
After the 1979 coup, the party declined in influence but continued to exist until 2010. In the year 2010, the PCN was canceled because it didn’t meet the minimum requirements to continue as a political party.
Then in 2011, the PCN political party started again with the same members under a different name; it changed from being called the National Coalition Party to the National Concertation Party.
Today, the PCN is considered relatively minor in political influence as compared with the other political parties such as ARENA, FMLN, GANA, and even New Ideas.
Christian Democratic Party (PDC)
The Christian Democratic Party or PDC is one of the oldest in the country, it started in October 1960. From 1960 all the way to the 1989 elections, it was the main opposition to the PCN, the other major political party at the time.
In 1984, Jose Napoleon Duarte became the first and only president that this political party has ever had. Then, in 2010, the Christian Democratic Party was canceled for not meeting the minimum requirements to stay as a political party.
In 2012, the PDC was able to begin again as a political party with the same name; since then, the PDC has continued to play a role in Salvadoran politics, mostly at the legislative level.
In the current legislative term that goes from 2018 to 2021, the PDC has a total of three Deputies, which represents a small fraction.
Democratic Change (CD).
The political party Democratic Change or CD was born in 2005; it was created by former members of the following political parties, Christian Democratic Party (PDC), Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), and United Democratic Center (CDU).
Since its origin in the Salvadoran political arena, the CD political party has played a small role. The highest number of Deputies they ever had in the General Assembly has been two, in the 2006 elections.
This political party is mostly known because of the 2018 controversy involving the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, CD, and Nayib Bukele.
The political party was controversially canceled by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) in July 2018; according to the TSE, the political party failed to meet the minimum requirements in the 2015 Salvadoran election.
However, many Salvadorans question why CD was allowed to participate in the 2018 elections; where they met the minimum requirements and stay as a political party.
A large number of people believe that CD was dissolved to prevent Nayib Bukele from running for president. At the time of the cancelation, Nayib Bukele was registered to run for president under the CD flag.
Other Political parties in El Salvador.
The other political parties in El Salvador are VAMOS, Our time or Nuestro Tiempo, and Salvadoran Democracy. Neither of these political parties has any representation in the Salvadoran General Assembly.
The Political parties VAMOS and Salvadoran democracy have been around for quite some time.
On the other hand, Our Time or Nuestro Tiempo is a new political party that was officially approved in 2019 and is looking forward to participate in its first election.
El Salvador Political Parties.
The political atmosphere in El Salvador is changing, this was clearly evident in the 2019 presidential election.
In the 2019 election, Nayib Bukele defeated the most prominent political parties in the last 30 years, ARENA and FMLN.
The most well-known pools are predicting that in the upcoming 2021 elections, both ARENA and the FMLN will lose significantly.
But, as Norman Quijano, one of the most popular and disliked Salvadoran politician says; “In politics everything is possible.” So, we will see how things end up after the 2021 election.