Citizens Action NGO: Only 26% of Political Parties Affiliates Voted in the 2023 Internal Elections

by Eddie Galdamez  |  Aug 27th, 2023
Citizens Action Monitoring reportCitizens Action (Accion Ciudadana) monitoring report. Photo by CiudadanaAccio1

Salvadorans once again showed dissatisfaction towards political parties by not showing up to vote during the 2023 internal elections. The country’s political parties are among the most disliked institutions in El Salvador.

Only 26% of affiliates voted in the 2023 political parties’ internal elections; Citizens Action executive director Eduardo Escobar unveiled the stats this past Friday at a press conference in San Salvador.

The NGO used internal voting data from six of eleven political organizations to arrive at their conclusions. Five political organizations didn’t release information about their internal elections.

According to data from the political parties, 255,150 militants were eligible to participate in the internal elections; however, only 67,415 (26%) attended. “Less than 50% of the eligible militants exercised their vote,” detailed Siliezar.

Citizen’s Action director Eduardo Escobar highlighted that these internal elections are taking place after changes were made to the electoral landscape by the Legislative Assembly, such as reducing the number of municipalities and deputies.

These internal elections take place within a particular context, and that is that an electoral reform took place when the organization of the internal elections was already underway.” Eduardo Escobar, director of Citizen Action.

With 71% of affiliates voting (11,218 out of 15,873), the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) had the highest percentage of participation. On the other hand, with 12% (4,961 out of 43,036), the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) had the lowest affiliate participation.

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

The New Ideas political party had the highest number of votes, 44,398; nonetheless, it only amounted to 25% of the eligible affiliates (44,398 out of 176,076). In contrast, the Our Time (Nuestro Tiempo) political party only had 357 affiliate votes, 25% of eligible affiliate votes (357 out of 702).

This year’s participation was less than the 40% it voted in the 2020 internal election process. More affiliates voted in the 2020 internals despite dealing with a full-blown COVID-19 pandemic.

It was even less than in 2020, which was the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, where there were mobility restrictions and sanitary restrictions that did not allow militants to arrive and cast their votes.” Denisse Siliezar.

Citizens Action noted that of the 11 political parties that were asked for information on their internal elections, only five gave information (ARENA, FMLN, PDC, NT, and VAMOS).

Five didn’t provide information (CD, FS, GANA, PCN, and FPS), and information on internal voting for the New Ideas party was collected by monitoring websites, social media, and news reports.

The Citizens Action (Accion Ciudadana) monitoring revealed a setback in the level of internal competition by political parties, given that the majority had only one candidate for each election position.