Left has growing discontent with Funes
As Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes approaches the anniversary of his first year in office, there are plenty of signs of growing discontent on the left end of the political spectrum.
This set of photos from El Faro from May 1 labor day celebrations show many protesters mocking Funes. Recently demonstrators against the Chaparral Dam project marched many kilometers from the countryside to stage a protest at the presidential offices. The marchers expressed their disillusionment with Funes after giving him their votes a year ago.
Another set of marchers came protesting from the north of El Salvador. They want to stop the Chaparral dam, but have not found an ally in Funes. This photo gallery shows their march which ended at the Presidential House in the capital.
Funes recently let go his Minister of Agriculture from the FMLN, and the resulting spat has included accusations that the president has directed that agricultural supplies destined for poor farmers be given to areas supporting the PCN political party, and GANA -- the new faction which broke off from ARENA.
The population has noticed the split between Funes and the left wing FMLN under whose banner Funes ran for office. In poll results published in El Diario del Hoy, Salvadorans were asked how they would describe the relationship between Funes and the FMLN. 63% answered that it is "a relationship of confrontation," and 29% said it was a relationship of "understanding." In the same poll, respondents were asked if they agreed with Funes taking positions contrary to those of the FMLN, and 62% said yes, while 36% answered in the negative.
As he completes one year in office, Funes is learning how difficult it is to govern from the center in El Salvador.
I've been watching this situation since before his election, mostly through this blog and a very few other sources, and he showed all the signs during the campaign, just like Obama. They were all there, but he was talking a much happier talk than all of his competitors and predecessors that he really sounded good.
I mean when your predecessors were Bush, but worse, what did it take to sound better? He is in for a rough few years ahead unless he starts to make good on the happy talk that he campaigned on.