Monday, March 12, 2012

ARENA biggest winner in elections

According to provisional vote totals from yesterday's elections, the conservative ARENA party appears to have been the biggest winner for both El Salvador's National Assembly seats and mayors.     ARENA won 33 seats in the 84 seat National Assembly.  This is one more seat than the party won in the 2009 elections, but is more impressive when you consider that 12 deputies had defected from ARENA to form the GANA party leaving ARENA with only 20 seats in the National Assembly.  

GANA was running in its first elections, and managed to capture 11 seats.   Together with ARENA, their 44 seats could be a strong majority bloc in the National Assembly.   Although it is still possible that the FMLN, GANA and CD could be a majority voting bloc with 43 votes.

The FMLN lost 4 seats from the 35 seats it had obtained in 2009.   This will be the first time since 2004 that the left wing party has had fewer deputies in the National Assembly than ARENA.  With only 31 seats, the FMLN must get support from GANA and at least one of the other tiny parties in order to pass any legislation.

Of the remaining parties, the biggest loser was the conservative CN party, formerly the PCN, which dropped from 11 deputies to 6, and becomes much more irrelevant.

In the mayor's races, Norman Quijano from ARENA will remain the mayor of San Salvador, handily beating Jorge Schafik Handal 63% to 32%.  A couple other high profile mayors retained their seats including the popular Oscar Ortiz, the FMLN mayor in Santa Tecla, and Will Salgado, who joined GANA to run for re-election as mayor of San Miguel.

Overall in mayor's races, it appears that ARENA fared very well.  Many municipalities in the San Salvador department will be headed by ARENA mayors including Apopa, Mejicanos, Tonacatapeque, San Martin, Soyapongo and Ilopango.

View all the vote totals here.


2 comments:

Lawrence M. Ladutke said...

My takeaway from this is that there will be even more pressure on Funes to make bad decisions on public security and the military. It is hard to imagine, however, worse decisions than those he has already taken. But he does have the habit of surprising me with how much worse he can make it.

Wayne said...

Check out the report in the Diario de Hoy today, of FMLN goons that blocked don Norman Quijano and his daughters from voting at their assigned polling place in Escalon yesterday. There's a photo of an FMLN supporter jabbing a pen into the face of a member of Quijano's security team. Perhaps we should be thankful that there wasn't more violence yesterday.

Arena had an impressive showing, particularly in areas where one would expect loyalty to the FMLN - Apopa, Soya, Mejicanos for example.

Now it's up to Arena to prove that they can fulfill the expectations that they created in the campaign. They have just 24 short months to demonstrate they deserved to win. If they can't forge a majority alliance in the Assembly, they won't get much done, and that doesn't bode well for them to win back the presidency in 2014. Watch for that door to be opened to GANA.