Politics of El Salvador

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Politics of El Salvador takes place in 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 an 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. The Economist Intelligence Unit rated El Salvador a " flawed democracy " in 2019, [1] [ needs update ] an improvement from its previous score that put it at the top of the "hybrid regime" category.


Political culture

El Salvador has a multi-party system. Three political parties Nuevas Ideas (New Ideas), 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. [2]

In February 2021, El Salvador's legislative election was an important breakthrough. The new party, founded by very popular President Nayib Bukele, Nuevas Ideas, or New Ideas, won around two-thirds of votes with its allies (GANA-New Ideas). His party won supermajority 56 seats in the 84-seat parliament.

Geographically, the departments of the Central region, especially the capital and the coastal regions, known as departamentos rojos, or red departments, are mostly left-wing while the departamentos azules, or blue departments, in the east, western and highland regions are generally conservative.

Executive branch

Main office holders
President Nayib Bukele GANA 1 June 2019

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 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 president serves a five-year term. He is barred from immediately succeeding himself, 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.20 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

The Judiciary, headed by the Supreme Court, is composed of 15 judges, one of them being elected as President of the Judiciary.

Foreign relations

El Salvador is a member of the United Nations and several of its specialized agencies, the Organization of American States (OAS), 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 World Trade Organization and is pursuing regional free trade agreements. An active participant in the Summit of the Americas process, El Salvador chairs a working group on market access under the Free Trade Area of the Americas initiative.

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El Salvador Country in Central America

El Salvador, officially the Republic of El Salvador, is a country in Central America. It is bordered on the northeast by Honduras, on the northwest by Guatemala, and on the south by the Pacific Ocean. El Salvador's capital and largest city is San Salvador. As of 2021, the country had a population of approximately 6,825,935.

The history of El Salvador begins with several Mesoamerican nations, especially the Cuzcatlecs, as well as the Lenca and Maya. In the early 16th century, the Spanish Empire conquered the territory, incorporating it into the Viceroyalty of New Spain ruled from Mexico City. In 1821, El Salvador achieved independence from Spain as part of the First Mexican Empire, only to further secede as part of the Federal Republic of Central America two years later. Upon the republic's isolation in 1841, El Salvador became sovereign until forming a short-lived union with Honduras and Nicaragua called the Greater Republic of Central America, which lasted from 1895 to 1898.

Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front Salvadoran political party and former leftist guerilla organization

The Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front is one of the two major political parties in El Salvador.

President of El Salvador

The President of El Salvador, officially known as the President of the Republic of El Salvador, is the head of state and head of government of El Salvador. He is also, by Constitutional Law, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of El Salvador. The office was created in the Constitution of 1841. From 1821 until 1841, the head of state of El Salvador was styled simply as Head of State.

Nationalist Republican Alliance Conservative political party in El Salvador

The Nationalist Republican Alliance is a conservative, right-wing political party of El Salvador. It was founded on 30 September 1981 by retired Salvadoran Army Major Roberto D'Aubuisson. It defines itself as a political institution constituted to defend the democratic, republican, and representative system of government, the social market economy system and nationalism.

Elections in El Salvador

The government of El Salvador is a presidential representative democratic republic.

National Coalition Party (El Salvador) Political party in El Salvador

The National Coalition Party is a nationalist political party in El Salvador. Until 2011 it was known as the National Conciliation Party. It was the most powerful political party in the country during the 1960s and 1970s, and was closely associated with the Salvadoran military. Julio Adalberto Rivera Carballo, a candidate of the National Conciliation Party, was elected president in 1962, and the next three presidents were also from the party. After the 1979 coup the party declined in influence but continued to exist.

Christian Democratic Party (El Salvador) Political party in El Salvador

The Christian Democratic Party is a Christian democratic party in El Salvador. After being officially disbanded by the Supreme Court in 2011, it continued to work under the name of Party of Hope, before re-taking its original name in 2012.

2003 Salvadoran legislative election

Legislative elections were held in El Salvador on 16 March 2003 to elect 84 deputies to the Legislative Assembly for a term of three years. The main opposition party, the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), won the most seats in election at 31. However the governing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) won enough seats to continue in government with the Party of National Conciliation (PCN).

Salvador Sánchez Cerén

Salvador Sánchez Cerén is a Salvadoran politician who served as the 45th President of El Salvador between 1 June 2014 and 1 June 2019. He took office on 1 June 2014, after winning the 2014 presidential election as the candidate of the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN). He previously served as Vice President under President Mauricio Funes from 2009 to 2014. He was also a guerrilla leader in the Civil War and is the first ex-rebel to serve as president.

2012 Salvadoran legislative and local elections

Legislative and local elections were held in El Salvador on 11 March 2012 to choose 84 members of the legislative assembly and 262 mayors. The election was carried out by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. The opposition Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) narrowly defeated the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) and its ally Grand Alliance for National Unity (GANA).

2014 Salvadoran presidential election

Presidential elections were held in El Salvador on February 2, 2014, with a second round held on March 9 since no candidate won an outright majority. The primary candidates were Vice-President Salvador Sánchez Cerén of the FMLN, San Salvador Mayor Norman Quijano of ARENA, and Former President Antonio "Tony" Saca. Saca represented GANA, the National Conciliation Party, and the Christian Democratic Party in the UNIDAD coalition. Incumbent President Mauricio Funes is ineligible to run for a consecutive second term. Sánchez Cerén and Quijano emerged as the contestants in the runoff held on March 9 in which Sánchez Cerén was declared the victor.

Nayib Bukele President of El Salvador

Nayib Armando Bukele Ortez is a Salvadoran politician and businessman who is the 46th and current President of El Salvador. He has served since 1 June 2019 after winning the 2019 election. He ran as the candidate of the center-right Grand Alliance for National Unity (GANA) party and became the first president since José Napoleón Duarte (1984–1989) not to have been elected as the candidate of one of the country's two major political parties: the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) and the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA). He is also the founder of the political party Nuevas Ideas.

2019 Salvadoran presidential election

Presidential elections were held in El Salvador on 3 February 2019, with voters electing a President and Vice President for a five-year term.

Ernesto Muyshondt Mayor of San Salvador, 2018 to 2021

Ernesto Luis Muyshondt García–Prieto, is a Salvadoran businessman, politician and member of the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) party. He served as the Mayor of San Salvador, the capital and largest city in El Salvador, from 2018 to 2021. He was previously a deputy of the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador from 2015 until 2018.

2021 Salvadoran legislative election

Legislative elections were held in El Salvador on 28 February 2021 to elect the 84 members of the Legislative Assembly, 20 members of the Central American Parliament and 262 mayors.

Nuevas Ideas Salvadoran political party

New Ideas is a Salvadoran populist political party founded on 25 October 2017 and based in San Salvador. It was founded by the current President of the Republic of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele. It was legalized by the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) on 24 August 2018. Its first secretary general was Federico Gerardo Anliker and was later succeeded by Xavier Zablah Bukele.

Irma Amaya

Irma Segunda Amaya Echeverría is a Salvadoran feminist, human rights activist, former guerrilla fighter, and politician. She was a member of the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador and the first Salvadoran woman President of the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN) for the term 2018–2019.

Cristina Cornejo (politician)

Cristina Cornejo Amaya is a Salvadoran lawyer, feminist, and politician of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN).


  1. The Economist Intelligence Unit (8 January 2019). "Democracy Index 2019" . Economist Intelligence Unit. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  2. https://www.welt.de/english-news/article3843948/Leftist-Mauricio-Funes-sworn-in-as-new-president.html