Fracture in ARENA unity

ARENA, the conservative party which ruled El Salvador for twenty years before its defeat in presidential elections in March 2009, has an internal rebellion on its hands. As described in El Faro, twelve of ARENA's 32 deputies in the National Assembly have declared themselves independent of the party leadership. They are demanding 2 seats on COENA, the national executive council which directs the party. The president of ARENA and head of COENA is former president Alfredo Cristiani, and he has denounced the rebels declaration of independence from party leadership. On the ARENA website, a statement condemns Herbert Saca, cousin of former president Tony Saca, for instigating the rebellion for unnamed personal motivations. Herbert Saca was a close adviser to his cousin during the Saca administration.

The party has been searching for persons or reasons to blame ever since it lost the presidency earlier this year.