Nine months into his presidency, Mauricio Funes continues to follow his moderate left-wing policies. He is a far departure from the decades of right-wing presidents before him, but he has also acted independently of the hard-line leadership of the FMLN.
An interesting article in Americas Quarterly titled Mauricio Funes: His Way looks at the course which Funes has been navigating:
Today, his country and party are changing, but President Funes continues to face challenges from the Left as well as the extreme Right. Business and conservative sectors do not trust him. In attempting to win their confidence, President Funes has reached out to conservative party leaders and business representatives. He appointed an economic cabinet with representatives from the financial sector to prove and honor his campaign promise to respect the free market. Like a good pupil, he is following and implementing the policy recommendations of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Inter-American Development Bank. On the other hand, President Funes faces criticism from the Left for supporting the Centro Democrático Unido (CDU) party and the emerging political movement Amigos de Mauricio that is based on the coalition of independent parties that backed him in last year’s election. The Left sees reaching out to moderate parties as a threat to the FMLN’s social base in the 2012 parliamentary and municipal elections. More sophisticated, less polarized analysts believe that President Funes is strengthening a centrist movement to protect himself from both the Right and the Left. (more)