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SALVADORAN PEOPLE SHOW MASSIVE SUPPORT FOR FMLN

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  • CISPES-LA
    Final Results Show FMLN Triumph in El Salvador; FMLN Receives 50,000 More Votes than ARENA, Positions Itself to Take Presidency in 2004 by CISPES Various
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 30, 2003
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      Final Results Show FMLN Triumph in El Salvador;
      FMLN Receives 50,000 More Votes than ARENA,
      Positions Itself to Take Presidency in 2004
      by CISPES

      Various analyses of election results in El
      Salvador's March 16 elections continue to reflect a
      resounding "vote of confidence" in the FMLN by voters
      as the Farabundo Marti Front for National Liberation
      defeated the right-wing ARENA party and began
      preparing for victory in the presidential election
      next year.
      The FMLN swept into mayors' offices in the capital
      city, San Salvador, and the other largest cities in El
      Salvador.
      With 31 seats, the FMLN holds more positions in
      the National Assembly (Congress) than any other party
      in the country.
      The popular vote showed the FMLN capturing more
      votes than any other party.
      Election observers report a tremendous wave of new
      support for the historic party which provided
      leadership during the 12 year civil war and now is
      poised to become the most powerful political party in
      the country.
      For the first time since the FMLN began its
      electoral participation as a political party in 1992,
      they received nearly 50,000 more votes than ARENA,
      some 3.5%. In this way, the FMLN also continues
      its historical tendency to increase in the popular
      vote, growing larger in every election since 1994.
      Such a major victory in last Sunday's elections also
      places the FMLN on track to win the upcoming
      presidential elections in March 2004, ending 15 years
      of ARENA's neoliberal regime and installing a popular
      left-wing government for the first time in Salvadoran
      history.

      Legislative Assembly

      In the Legislative Assembly, the FMLN won 31 out of
      a total 84 seats, the same number it won in 2000.
      This represents an improvement over the current
      situation, as the FMLN wins back the six seats it lost
      when the Renovator wing split off from the party in
      2001.
      However, the balance of power has not shifted much in
      the Assembly, with the far right block of
      ARENA and the PCN still holding the majority of
      seats: ARENA lost two seats and now holds 27, while
      the PCN gained two and now holds 16. Together,
      they make up 43 votes, the simple majority needed
      to approve most legislation.

      The FMLN's gains give the party enough votes to
      block a supermajority, the two-thirds majority needed
      to pass constitutional amendments and approve
      international loans. The FMLN has committed to
      support no loans that would lead to privatization of
      public goods or services.
      Likewise, for the first time in the history of El
      Salvador, the opposition parties together sum up
      enough votes to override a presidential veto. In
      recent months alone, President Francisco Flores, of
      ARENA, has vetoed more than 30 bills that sought to
      benefit different sectors, from healthcare workers to
      small coffee farmers to bus drivers. Finally, if the
      FMLN does win the presidency in 2004, they will have
      enough votes to block the right wing from overturning
      presidential vetoes.

      Six parties will die out in the aftermath of the
      2003 elections, including the Renovators and the PSD,
      two splinter parties that left the FMLN. Both
      failed to achieve the minimum 3% of the popular
      vote needed to survive as a party, and they join the
      center-right AP and the right-wing PAN, PPR and FUERZA

      parties in being eliminated. The center-right PDC
      and the center-left CDU, which had set a goal of
      twelve and eight seats respectively, won only five
      seats each. This was a big blow for the CDU, whose
      main figurehead, ex-FMLN mayor of San Salvador Hector
      Silva, had been promoted by the US Embassy as
      a possible "centrist" presidential candidate for
      2004.
      In El Salvador there are two predominant models:the
      neoliberal model promoted by the right, and the
      revolutionary alternative promoted by the FMLN, and
      the near-elimination of the center block clears the
      way for a direct confrontation between these two
      models in the upcoming 2004 presidential
      elections.

      Another winner in the 2003 elections is the PCN,
      which increased in size to 16 deputies and
      consolidated its position as the key party in the
      Legislative Assembly: its votes are necessary to
      either the FMLN or ARENA to make up a simple majority.
      However, it is important to note that of the
      PCN's 16 deputies, only three were elected by popular
      vote. The other 13 were elected by a bizarre system
      of residual votes which rewards the third party (PCN)
      to the detriment of the party that receives the most
      votes (FMLN). Although the PCN received less than a
      third of the total votes that the FMLN received, they
      end up with more than half the number of seats in
      the Assembly. Whereas FMLN delegates were elected
      with an average of some 11,000 votes each, PCN
      delegates were elected with an average of around
      8,000 votes each. The FMLN has been fighting since
      1994 to eliminate the system of residual votes and
      institute real electoral reforms, but have
      been consistently blocked by the right.

      Over the course of the 2000-2003 legislative
      session, the PCN voted together with ARENA on most key
      issues, especially the privatization of
      health care. But with presidential elections
      coming up in 2004, the PCN could seek to distance
      itself from ARENA, and especially from unpopular
      President Flores. In the two weeks since the
      election, a split has developed within the ranks of
      the PCN and two distinct tendencies have emerged: one,
      led by party president Ciro Cruz Zepeda, seeks to tie
      itself to ARENA as closely as possible, whereas the
      other, led by key PCN deputies Orlando Ar�valo,
      Antonio Almend�riz and No� Gonz�lez, seeks to
      differentiate itself from ARENA. These three deputies
      have even supported efforts to strip the presidency of
      the Assembly from Zepeda and give it to the FMLN, to
      whom it rightfully belongs as the party with most
      seats in the Assembly. If the split within the PCN
      deepens, it is possible that two or more of these
      deputies could be persuaded to vote with the FMLN on
      key issues, giving the combined opposition of FMLN,
      CDU and PDC the simple majority needed to pass
      legislation. For example, the three dissidents
      within the PCN support reintroduction of the col�n
      (El Salvador's former national currency) and
      reactivation of the agricultural sector, both key
      points in the FMLN legislative platform.

      The first decision to be taken by the new Legislative
      Assembly when it is sworn in on May 1 will have to do
      with the healthcare strike, about to enter its sixth
      month. FMLN legislators have opened talks with the
      PCN, hoping to pass a law that would grant amnesty to
      the strikers and rehire all fired workers. Through
      popular pressure, the FMLN can win the PCN, PDC
      and CDU over to the side of the strikers. 80% of
      the Salvadoran population has shown its opposition to
      the privatization of health care in opinion
      polls, a number which all parties will take very
      seriously with presidential elections only a year
      away. This next Assembly will also have
      to vote on the CAFTA free trade agreement between the
      US and Central America. While the CDU, PDC and PCN
      have called for "reforms" to the free
      trade agreement, the FMLN is the only party with firm
      position against the treaty. In the words of
      newly-elected FMLN legislator Blandino Nerio,
      "we expect the CAFTA battle to be a difficult fight
      in the Assembly, one that we can only win by relating
      more closely to popular movements and by
      attaining the correct combination of social and
      parliamentary organizing victories."



      =====
      CISPES
      Committee In Solidarity With The People of El Salvador
      8124 West 3rd Street L.A. Ca. 90048
      323-852-0721
      Founded: 1980 - 22 Years of Solidarity

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    • CISPES-LA
      +++ Mobilization Sunday! ++++ Issues of occupation! Permanent War! +++++ Now, more than ever! NO WAR IN IRAQ! Sunday, April 13th Assemble: Hollywood & Vine at
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 9, 2003
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        +++ Mobilization Sunday!
        ++++ Issues of occupation! Permanent War!
        +++++ Now, more than ever!

        NO WAR IN IRAQ!
        Sunday, April 13th
        Assemble: Hollywood & Vine at 12 NOON
        [replaces the L.A. Times assembly point!]
        March down Hollywood Blvd to La Brea
        ALL OUT FOR PEACE, NO MORE WAR, NO OCCUPATION!

        Sponsored by ICUJP, A.N.S.W.E.R, CFWP, NION
        and Global Women's Strike
        ~~~~~~213-487-2368~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


        =====
        CISPES
        Committee In Solidarity With The People of El Salvador
        8124 West 3rd Street L.A. Ca. 90048
        323-852-0721
        Founded: 1980 - 22 Years of Solidarity

        __________________________________________________
        Do you Yahoo!?
        Yahoo! Tax Center - File online, calculators, forms, and more
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