Salvadoran presidential runoff, 2014

Today Salvadorans vote in their runoff presidential election. FMLN candidate Salvador Sánchez Cerén should win easily. For one thing, he almost won in the first round, with about 49% and a 10-point lead over runner-up Norman Quijano of ARENA. Second, polling has shown that those who voted for third-place candidate, Tony Saca, a former president from ARENA, were splitting at least evenly if not towards Sánchez Cerén. The latter might seem like a surprise–a right-wing ex-president’s supporters swinging to a former guerrilla fighter–but Saca split from his party in 2010 and led a group of ex-ARENA legislators in forming part of the legislative majority of incumbent president Mauricio Funes, also of the FMLN.

Sánchez Cerén will inherit the legislature elected in 2012 in which ARENA is the largest party (33 seats), but the FMLN (31) and Saca’s GANA (11) have a majority of the 84 seats. The next legislative election is a year away.