Sunday, May 01, 2011

Supreme Court eliminates PCN and PDC

El Salvador's two oldest right wing political parties have lost their official standing following a ruling by the country's Supreme Court.   The Christian Democratic Party  (PDC for its initials in Spanish) and the National Conciliation Party (PCN) failed to receive then necessary 3% of votes in the 2004 presidential elections which would allow them to continue as recognized political parties.  However, in 2005, a law passed by the National Assembly  purported to waive the 3% requirement, and allowed the parties to continue to participate in elections.  In its ruling this week, the Supreme Court found the 2005 law to be invalid and in contravention of the requirements of the Salvadoran constitution. (There's a good overview of the court ruling in an article in El Faro at this link).

The PCN and PDC were founded in the early 1960's, and both parties elected presidents of the country in the 1970s and 1980s. More recently, they had been small minority parties in the legislature, usually casting their votes in alliance with the right-wing ARENA party. This voting bloc kept the National Assembly in control of conservative parties, and the PCN's Ciro Cruz Zepeda was president of the assembly. This voting control ended only recently when divisions in ARENA created the GANA party, and new alliances were formed leading to the election of a National Assembly president from the FMLN.

With elections of mayors and National Assembly deputies approaching in 2012, the PCN and PDC must re-register by gathering 50,000 signatures of support if they wish to participate.

The ruling leaves ARENA, the FMLN, GANA (the party formed by ARENA defectors) and Democratic Change (CD), as the registered parties for the 2012 elections.

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