Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Political orthodoxy in the FMLN

The FMLN continues to be split between reform-minded elements and the hard-liners led by Schafik Handal. The reformers include such people as San Salvador mayor Carlos Rivas Zamora and Santa Tecla mayor Oscar Ortiz. The hard liners continue to be firmly in control which may not bode well for the party's election chances in next year's elections of mayors and legislators. Most recently the red party announced that it will have an internal commission which will evaluate potential candidates who wish to run for office to verify their militant credentials. It's hard not to view this as the hard liners' way to prevent reform candidates from making it on the ballot. Proceso had an editorial about the internal FMLN politics recently which called on the party of the left to have transparency in how it chooses its leaders and direction. The party will struggle if it does not allow governance through transparent internal elections.

Currently the division in the FMLN is playing out in its struggle to decide on a candidate for the mayorship of San Salvador. Despite the popularity of Rivas Zamora in recent polls, the orthodox leadership of the FMLN wants to replace him with Violeta Menjívar.

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