The Chicago Tribune has a story today about the presidential campaign of Mauricio Funes in El Salvador. The article describes how Funes has campaigned as a more moderate politician than those of the FMLN's past:
Funes wants to remake the FMLN into a pragmatic party that, if victorious, would join El Salvador with Guatemala and Nicaragua as former Cold War-era battlegrounds where voters are trying leftist leaders for the first time since their conflicts ended.
Not that those ideological battles are over. With 10 months to go before the March vote, conservative critics have painted Funes as a Trojan horse, a moderate face for a party whose leaders still wear fatigues and whose supporters brandish pictures of Che Guevara and Soviet flags at campaign rallies.
"The main challenge we face is convincing the public, especially the undecided, that my presence isn't just a formality, that I haven't merely arrived to apply varnish on the image of the FMLN," Funes said in an interview at his campaign office. "We must convince the public that the party has moderated."
So far this approach seems to be working, in recent public opinion polls, Funes holds a significant lead over ARENA's Rodrigo Avila.