El Salvador elections–now open list

Salvadorans vote in legislative (and municipal) elections on Sunday. I don’t even have to look at polls to make a prediction: the FMLN will lose seats. This is the first election since the FMLN won the presidency in 2009 with the candidacy of Mauricio Funes, and a midterm decline is the typical pattern–in El Salvador and elsewhere.

This election will be the country’s first under a new open-list system. You can see a mock ballot at the El Diario de Hoy website. The system will permit the voter to vote for multiple candidates within a list–putting El Salvador on the same course followed in recent years by Honduras and Ecuador. Independent candidates also may run. These changes were in response to a Supreme Court ruling that invalidated the closed-list system that has been used until now. See Election Resources for more detail on the electoral system.

Here is an image of a sample ballot (courtesy of El Salvador from the Inside):

El Salvador 2012 papeleta-ballot

7 thoughts on “El Salvador elections–now open list

  1. Preliminary results suggests that the FMLN did lose seats–barely. From 35 in 2009 to 31 now.

    ARENA, which had 32 is the 2009 election, has won just 33. Not much of a gain as one might normally expect for the main opposition party at a president’s midterm. However, the party had lost 12 seats to defection between elections, so looked at from the standpoint of its current caucus, that is a big gain. The defectors formed Gana, which has supported Funes; this party seems to have won 11 seats. That would give the president’s current coalition half the seats.

    News sources: BBC, CSM.

    The BBC item calls this a “win” for ARENA. 33 seats out of 84 is not a “win”. Not when the president’s party has 31, and the presidency is institutionally powerful.

    Of the remaining parties, in addition to Gana, most will have more to gain by cooperating with Pres. Funes than by joining ARENA in opposition. So, while not exactly a win for the FMLN, it is definitely not a win for ARENA.

  2. Tim’s El Salvador Blog:

    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.

    Hmmm. Seems to me that the CN just became far more relevant!

  3. I don’t quite get the ballot format. it seems to me like every party logo is followed by a column of identical photographs.

  4. Just guessing, JD, but I suspect the image shows a sample ballot prepared before the actual candidates had been decided.

    Note that the row at the bottom is for independent candidates–possibly fictitious, though I can’t say.

  5. I think it’s a sample–the actual size is included in the right-hand corner, which I highly doubt would be included on real ballots.

  6. Pingback: El Salvador joins the panachage ranks, president’s party holds steady | Fruits and Votes

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