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Right-wing party set to win election in El Salvador

By AndrĂ© R. Gignac     Mar 12, 2012 in World
With close to 40% of the votes, the conservative ARENA party is set to win the general election in El Salvador against the Farabundo Marti Liberation Front.
With almost all the votes counted, international observers -- and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of El Salvador, according to Deutsche Welle -- are announcing that the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) has defeated the Farabundo Marti Liberation Front of Mauricio Funes, first leftist president elected, in 2009, after some 20 years of ARENA's reign.
No less than nine political parties were battling for Salvadoran votes, although ARENA and the FMLN are the largest formations. ARENA is expected to take 33 seats against 31 for the latter, while the remaining 20 seats will go to other smaller parties.
Funes still has two years left in office, but it is generally agreed that a victory for ARENA means he will not be able to get much done, particularly with regard to social programmes.
Ironically, two months ago Mauricio Funes travelled to El Mozote to apologize publicly for the 1981 massacre perpetrated by government forces against civilians accused of helping left-wing guerillas. His party, the FMLN, was founded by those very same guerillas who at the time had fought the US-backed Salvadoran government.
El Salvador is now a democratic republic governed by a president and legislative assembly.
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