Wednesday, July 20, 2005

End of two party system

Since the end of the civil war, politics in El Salvador has been dominated by the political parties of the former combatants -- ARENA and the FMLN. With internal issues within both parties, and recent defections from the FMLN, Proceso now wonders whether the two party dominance may be coming to an end:

The two most important parties seem to be weaker than ever. ARENA is not even able to find any decent candidates for the most important municipalities of the country. At the moment, the shadow of Saca darkens the image of the rest of the aspiring leaders. In the case of the FMLN, it is evident that the constant number of resignations of important figures, unsatisfied with the authoritarian control of the orthodox, in the end will affect the performance of the party. In fact, the incapacity of the left wing to win the presidential elections is a symptom of this reality. In this context, would it be silly to predict that perhaps the end of the oppositionÂ’s hegemony of a structure created in the war has started to crumble?

In his comment to this post, Curt Hopkins pointed out a piece he had written in November 2004 on this same theme. I recommend reading it along with the Proceso commentary. You can find Curt's blog here.


Curt Hopkins said...

When I read this post it reminded me of one I had made ( based on reporting I'd done several years ago. I was not in a... positive frame of mind when I wrote it.

boz said...

Just an opinion, but I think both the FMLN and ARENA are in need of their old leadership to retire or die off.

Once there are no more shadows from the civil war hanging around, I think El Salvador's two party system will work itself out into something with a center-left and a center-right party. There maybe a few more parties playing in the legislature, but they'll never having a shot at the presidency.

Then again, I could easily be wrong, it's just a guess.