Elections in El Salvador: Examining the Apparent Electoral Dominance of the Political Right Following the Civil War
Since the end of a bloody civil war and the advent of truly free elections in the early 1990s, El Salvador has experienced several rounds of presidential, legislative, and municipal elections. These have been peaceful and competitive. In general, the country has tended to favor the more conservative ARENA party over its primary competitors. The present research attempts to describe this trend and its antecedents in greater detail than has been previously attempted. A survey was administered to 60 Salvadorans in their native country and in the United States in an attempt to determine voter perceptions of the strategies and events that have led to the generally conservative trend. The attitudes expressed in this survey are consistent with the electoral outcomes and indicate a general favoring of a market economy as opposed to the socialist offering of the primary competition. At the same time, concerns remain regarding a variety of social issues such as education, poverty, and crime. Based on these surveys, it seems likely that approaches to these and other issues important to Salvadoran voters will be decided on a political middle ground in which compromise and pragmatism are valued more than ideological purity. Elections will remain competitive, and the country’s commitment to democracy seems likely to flourish.
elections, El Salvador, politics
Robles, G. (2007). Elections in El Salvador: Examining the apparent electoral dominance of the political right following the civil war (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.