Friday, March 13, 2009
El Salvador Elections March 15th 2009 Open Thread
On Sunday, March 15, there will be presidential electionsin El Salvador. An indication of the balance of forces can be seen in the size of the end of campaign rallies. The left wing FMLN gathered 250,000 people, one of the largest mobilisations in the country’s history. The mood was one of enthusiasm, hope and militancy, even though the bureaucracy did its best to turn the rally into a carnival. The right wing could not even fill the Cuscatlán stadium, and as it is always the case in these events, paid people to attend, forced civil servants to attend, as well as bringing popular music groups. Even with all this, the meeting was only about 50,000 strong. However the mood was very different. It was a very political meeting appealing to prevent the victory of “communism”, to defend “democracy and freedom”.
The right wing is seriously considering electoral fraud in order to “win” these elections, and there is a lot of uncertainty about what will happen on March 15 and the following days. The right wing parties are very discredited, but the ruling class is not sure that its interests will be safe with a FMLN government, even though the FMLN candidate and the leadership of the party have made repeated statements saying they will respect private property and will not move towards socialism. Neither the leadership of the FMLN nor Funes have prepared seriously to fight electoral fraud and have even signed an statement saying they will respect the electoral results. But the patience of the masses is running short and it is unlikely that the leadership will be able to contain the protests of the workers which are likely to be very militant and might acquire a revolutionary character.