Salvadoran opposition parties are holding talks with a view to presenting a common candidate in the 2024 presidential elections. The coalition could bring together political parties that have dominated Salvadoran political life since the 1980s, such as Arena and the Farabundo Martí Front. A unique candidate who will rival the president, Nayib Bukele, who is seeking a second consecutive term despite the limits established in the Constitution.
If the alliance of the opposition parties in El Salvador with representatives of civil society is confirmed in the presidential election of February 2024, it would be an unprecedented event for half a century.
Former left and right rivals the FMNL and Arena could join forces to form a bloc against President Nayib Bukele who will seek a second consecutive term despite being prevented from doing so by the Central American country’s Constitution.
But the increasingly authoritarian presidency of the 41-year-old president, who is very active on Twitter and who established a state of emergency to fight gangs, threatens the fairness of the elections, warns Danilo Miranda, a political scientist and professor at the Central American University.
“Certainly the president enjoys popularity, beyond the fact that he can win the elections fairly, they are not going to be fair because the institutional situation excessively favors the ruling party,” says Miranda.
For the political scientist, what he denounces as “a concentration of resources” is a problem. “In the last elections, the ruling party concentrated more resources than all the other political forces combined, I mean campaign resources. On the other hand, the fact that it controls the security forces, which are loyal not to the State but to the group that controls it, may arouse suspicions about the role that these forces can play at the time of the elections and it is necessary to take into account that there are reports of attacks on journalists,” he explains.
Miranda denounces Bukele’s authoritarianism, which is expressed, according to him, by disrespect for institutions. “It does not exist with respect to the Constitution, the Legislative Assembly has been invaded militarily to intimidate legislators in the previous period and a Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice related to the ruling party has been imposed. And apart from the three powers of the State, it also controls the Prosecutor’s Office ”, says the expert.
The main objective of this alliance of the opposition forces of El Salvador is to put an end to what they denounce as Bukele’s authoritarian system. It remains to be seen who will embody this unique candidacy that should be confirmed in the coming days, according to the newspaper ‘El Faro’.