El Salvador Political Parties. 13 Political Parties Ready to Compete in the 2024 Elections

2024 Elections will Take Place on February 4 and March 3

El Salvador Political Parties
Salvadoran Political Parties.

El Salvador political parties belong to a democratic multi-party system with multiple political parties across different political spectrums and affiliations; members of these political groups are allowed to run for local and national elections.

There are 13 political parties legally registered with the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) to compete in the upcoming 2024 elections for president, deputies, and municipality mayors.

The 13 Salvadoran political parties officially registered in El Salvador are New Ideas, ARENA, GANA, FMLN, PCN, Nuestro Tiempo, PDC, VAMOS, Cambio Democratico, PAIS, FPS, Democracia Salvadoreña, and Fuerza Solidaria (FS).

The political parties put forward candidates for municipal, legislative, presidential, and Central American Parliament elections. According to the Salvadoran constitution, a person can only be elected to public office through a political party.

Each political party has its own set of rules and guidelines that govern them and that members have to obey. Also, they have their own way of deciding which candidates will compete in each election. Furthermore, the political parties can compete by themselves or in coalition with other political groups.

The Salvadoran Supreme Electoral Tribunal(TSE) reviews each political party after elections; they ensure that each political entity maintains the minimum requirements to stay active. The following are the current political parties in El Salvador.

New Ideas or Nuevas Ideas (N).

Nuevas IdeasThe New Ideas political party or Nuevas Ideas is the number one political force in El Salvador. This political party or movement was created by President Nayib Bukele after his expulsion from the FMLN. New Ideas was legalized as a political party in August 2018.

New Ideas controls 56 out of 84 legislative seats of the Legislative Assembly. With these votes, the political party alone can create or vacate laws; additionally, they alone can appoint judges, the attorney general, members of the Supreme Court, and magistrates of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, among others.

In the 2021 elections, the New Ideas political movement gained control of 58% of municipal governments. Currently, they govern 152 of the 262 municipalities in El Salvador.

In 2023, the political dominance of New Ideas continues and is on pace to maintain it after the 2024 elections. With elections coming in less than a year, surveys shows a massive gap between the Bukele political party and the other political entities.

SEE ALSO: President Bukele’s possible re-election continues to be a hot topic of discussion

Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA)

ARENAARENA is one of the oldest political parties in the country; it was created in the early 1980s during the Salvadoran armed conflict. From 1989 to 2021, 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. However, they lost it in the 2009 elections to Mauricio Funes of the FMLN.

Additionally, from 1989 to 2021, ARENA had the most deputies in each of the three-year legislatures. However, in the February 2021 elections, the right-wing political party received an unimaginable defeat; ARENA lost 23 of the 37 seats it controlled at the legislative assembly.

SEE ALSO: Can Salvadoran political parties ARENA and FMLN recover political ground?

ARENA’S political decline, which started in the 2009 presidential election and concluded in the 2021 municipal and legislative elections, continues in 2023. Cases of corruption by ex-presidents and high-ranking public officials are why the party collapsed and is not recovering.

Grand Alliance for National Unity (GANA)

GANAThe 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.

GANA is the third political force in the legislative branch of government behind New Ideas and ARENA. Of the 84 Deputies in the congress, GANA has 5 by themselves and 10 in coalition with New Ideas.

Officially, GANA is the political party that controls the Executive branch. Nayib Bukele won in 2019 under the GANA political party flag, even though he is the New Ideas political party’s founder.

GANA, just like the other political parties, has low popularity in 2023. However, what could help them in the upcoming 2024 elections is their commitment to supporting President Bukele.

Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN)

FMLNThe FMLN, or Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, is a left-wing political party that began after the signing of the 1992 peace accords that ended the Salvadoran civil war. They competed for the first time in the 1994 elections.

The FMLN has had two presidents, Mauricio Funes from 2009 to 2014 and Salvador Sanchez Ceren from 2014 to 2019. Both ex-presidents left El Salvador and became Nicaraguan citizens to avoid prosecution in El Salvador for corruption.

Also, from 2009 to 2021, this political party was one of the country’s top two influential political parties in the legislative branch. However, in the 2021 legislative elections, the FMLN suffered a brutal defeat; the FMLN won only four seats in the Legislative Assembly.

The left-wing political party went from 23 seats before the 2021 elections to four. Emblematic FMLN figures, such as Schafik Handal Jr, Nidia Diaz, and Cristina Cornejo, didn’t win reelection.

The left-wing political party struggles continue in 2023 as less than 5% of the population approves of them. The FMLN collapse is due mainly to the corruption of the two ex-presidents and other high-ranking party officials.

National Concertation Party (PCN)

PCNFrom the 1960s 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 2010, the PCN was canceled because it didn’t meet the minimum requirements to continue as a political party after the 2009 elections.

Then in 2011, the PCN political party started again with the same members under a different name; it changed from the National Coalition Party to the National Concertation Party.

Today, the PCN is considered relatively minor in political influence compared to other political parties such as New Ideas, ARENA, and GANA.

Our time political party (Nuestro Tiempo “NT”)

Nuestro TiempoNuestro Tiempo, or Our Time, is a Salvadoran political party founded in 2019 by ex-members of the right-wing political party ARENA; it is positioned in politics as a progressive entity. Nuestro Tiempo competed for the first time in the 2021 legislative and municipal elections. With 26,945 votes, Johnny Wright Sol won a seat in the legislative branch.

Christian Democratic Party (PDC)

PDCThe Christian Democratic Party (PDC) is one of the oldest political parties in the country; it started in October 1960. From 1960 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 ever had.

In 2011, after a long legal battle, the PDC political Party was canceled for not meeting the minimum requirements to stay as a political party after the 2009 elections. Also, in 2011, high-ranking members of the PDC started a new political movement called the Party of Hope (Partido de la Esperanza “PE”).

Then in 2012, after a year had passed since the PDC was canceled, Party of Hope leaders asked the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to change that name to the Christian Democratic Party (PDC). The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) unanimously accepted the request, and the Christian Democratic Party began again.

In 2023, the PDC play a minimal role in Salvadoran politics at the legislative level. Currently, they have one deputy, Reinaldo Carballo, of the San Miguel department.

VAMOS political party

VAMOS Political Party El SalvadorThe VAMOS political party was officially legalized by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal on November 2017.

The party participated for the first time in the 2019 presidential election. The presidential formula was Josue Alvarado and Roberto Rivera Ocampo as candidates for president and vice president, respectively.

VAMOS competed in the 2021 Legislative and municipal elections; with 15,520 votes, Claudia Ortiz won the last available legislative seat representing the San Salvador department. Also, Carlos Coca won the race for San Isidro municipality in Morazan; he became the first VAMOS municipality mayor.

Other Political parties in El Salvador.

The other political parties in El Salvador are the Democratic Change (CD), Salvadoran Independent Party (PAIS), Salvadoran Patriotic Fraternity Party (FPS), Salvadoran Democracy Party (DS), and Fuerza Solidaria (FS). All these political parties will be competing in the upcoming 2024 elections.