Frederick Mills at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, has published a new essay on the upcoming presidential elections in El Salvador. Here is the introduction:
The February 2014 presidential elections in El Salvador will determine whether the country continues to embrace the social democratic orientation of the incumbent FMLN or reverts to the neoliberal project of one of the contending right wing tickets (ARENA or UNIDAD). ARENA is the traditional right wing party founded in 1981. UNIDAD is a coalition or movement of right and center right parties (GANA, PCN y PDC). This essay will draw some contrasts between the different directions the contending parties might take the country, examine some of the dynamics of the electoral contest, and finally urge the Obama administration to declare its neutrality with regard to the outcome of the elections to make it clear that Washington is not behind any campaign to subvert the democratic process in El Salvador.Mills does a pretty good job laying out the choice which faces Salvadorans next February. You can read the whole article here. Election of Sanchez Ceren from the FMLN will promise continued initiatives on social programs, yet with no clear path to create economic growth, jobs, investment or opportunity. Quijano promises to return the country to the pro-business, pro-USA policies which have marked ARENA's prior decades in power. Saca would probably govern as he did in his first term -- as a populist who did invest in social programs where it was politically expedient, but primarily served a circle of wealthy and powerful friends.