Thursday 27 June 2019

Reformer in front in El Salvador polls

A young woman wears the colours of the ARENA
right-wing party as she casts her vote during the El Salvador presidential election at a polling station in San Salvador. Photo: Getty
A young woman wears the colours of the ARENA right-wing party as she casts her vote during the El Salvador presidential election at a polling station in San Salvador. Photo: Getty

Nelson Renteria

Salvadorans headed to the polls in the first round of a presidential election yesterday, with an energetic former mayor campaigning as an anti-corruption outsider predicted to win the top job and end decades of a two-party system.

Nayib Bukele (37) has capitalised on the anti-establishment feeling sweeping elections across the region and further afield, as voters seek an alternative to traditional parties.

Since the end of its bloody civil war in 1992, El Salvador has been governed by just two parties: the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) ruling leftists, and its rival, conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA).

Though he describes himself as from the left and was expelled from the FMLN, Mr Bukele has formed a coalition with parties including a right-wing one that together has just 11 seats in the legislature. Pollster Mitofsky found in a January poll that Mr Bukele had 57pc of voter support, while a Gallup poll showed him with 42pc. Both polls show ARENA's Carlos Calleja in second place.

Irish Independent

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