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Politics of El Salvador

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Politics of El Salvador

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
El Salvador

Politics of El Salvador takes place in land a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of El Salvador is both head of state and head of government, and of a two-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government.

Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Legislative Assembly. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Political culture

El Salvador has a multi-party system. Two political parties, the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) have tended to dominate elections. ARENA candidates won four consecutive presidential elections until the election of Mauricio Funes of the FMLN in March 2009.

Geographically, the departments of the Central region, especially the capital and the coastal regions, known as departamentos rojos, or red departments, are relatively Leftist. The departamentos azules, or blue departments in the east, western and highland regions are relatively conservative.

Executive branch

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Salvador Sánchez Cerén Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front 1 June 2014

El Salvador elects its head of state – the President of El Salvador – directly through a fixed-date general election whose winner is decided by absolute majority. If an absolute majority (50% + 1) is not achieved by any candidate in the first round of a presidential election, then a run-off pool election is conducted 30 days later between the two candidates who obtained the most votes in the first round. The presidential period is five years. Consecutive re-election is not permitted, though previously elected presidents may run for a second, non-consecutive term.

Legislative branch

Salvadorans also elect a single-chamber, unicameral national legislature – the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador – of 84 members (deputies) elected by closed-list proportional representation for three-year terms, with the possibility of immediate re-election. Twenty of the 84 seats in the Legislative Assembly are elected on the basis of a single national constituency. The remaining 64 are elected in 14 multi-member constituencies (corresponding to El Salvador's 14 departments). They range from 3-16 seats each according to department population size.

Judicial branch

Foreign relations

El Salvador is a member of the Central American Common Market (CACM), the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN), and the Central American Integration System (SICA). It actively participates in the Central American Security Commission (CASC), which seeks to promote regional arms control.

El Salvador also is a member of the Summit of the Americas process, El Salvador chairs a working group on market access under the Free Trade Area of the Americas initiative.

External links

  • Legislative Assembly of El Salvador
  • Presidency of El Salvador
  • Supreme Court of Justice of El Salvador
  • Changing Colors in El Salvador by Emma Vawter, The Yale Globalist, May 11, 2009
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