Sunday March 11, legislative and municipal elections will take place in El Salvador. Opinion polls confirm the decline of the support of president Mauricio Funes (FMLN) and his government. A survey carried out by Mitofsky in February 2012 shows an increasing mistrust in the Government, as no improvement has been made, rather the contrary. The positive approval rates of the president has fallen 17 percent, and currently six out of ten Salvadorians believe that Funes has lost control over the Government and that he is also losing control of the country.
When president Mauricio Funes assumed the presidency 35 percent of the respondent in the polls believed that he didn’t have control over the country, today the aqivalent number is 60 percent. In November 2009, 22 percent estimated that the Funes Government was not what they had expected, now a 62 percent shares this opinion.
The results of the Mitofsky poll are similar to most of the recent surveys published. One of them, the survey on consumers perception, shows the consumer’s decreasing confidence levels and expectations. Over the last two years an increase of almost 30 percent has been noted of people believing that the economic situation of their family will become worse in the next few years.
The outcome of the elections will to a large extent depend on those who beforehand did not declare their voting intention. Though among those who did, the ARENA party has a clear advantage – 7 percent for deputies and almost 10 percent for mayors. Everything points towards an election result which will give ARENA the possibility to constitute a strong and constructive political opposition until the next Presidential election. Allowing them to be a real counterweight to the party currently in government. This never happened after the 2009 elections since some deputies, betraying the popular vote, changed side and moved to the winning party (FMLN) as well as the ex-president’s party (GANA).
The current mayor of San Salvador and candidate for reelection, Norman Quijano, together with the president of ARENA, Alfredo Cristiani and other party leaders, visited several municipalities as a closing of his electoral campaign. Quijano together with the party leadership closed the campaign in the department of San Vicente, with a meeting in which they questioned the management of the government of the FMLN, both at a national and at a local level.
Cristiani repeated the importance of voting on Sunday and urged the audience to support ARENA and to increase the number of deputies for the next term of the legislature. The ARENA leader referred also to the results of the opinion polls made in the capital San Salvador which endorse the management of Quijano as his administration is considered the most orderly and because he initiated progress in the municipality.
Quijano has received a significant support from the inhabitants of San Salvador, according to several surveys that also appoint him as the most likely to be reelected. In all the municipalities that Quijano has visited, he has promoted the model of local management he has applied in the capital, which is characterized by orderliness and transparency. He encouraged the other ARENA candidates to follow his example in each of the municipalities where they already are in power or where they aspire to win on Sunday.
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