The gap between Funes and the FMLN

Elected under the banner of the FMLN, president Mauricio Funes has never been a follower of the party line. In an article today titled Growing Tension Between Funes and Ruling Leftwing Party, IPS reports that the gap between the president and the party who elected him seems to be growing:

While the party has taken a harder-line position more in tune with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's "21st century socialism", the president has continued to follow the neoliberal economic policies of his ARENA predecessors, but combined with broad social programmes, such as a conditional cash transfer scheme for the poor, a community health care plan, and the distribution of free books and uniforms to students.

In a survey published in June by the University Institute of Public Opinion (IUDOP), more than 50 percent of respondents said the Funes administration had not ushered in significant changes.

Funes' increasingly close ties with the business community and his distancing from the social organisations that supported him in the campaign have brought him in for harsh criticism from the left and applause from the right. (more).


Dave Kinnear said…
It looks as if Funes is following the time-honored political tradition of moving to the middle as he comes to better understand the reality of running a government. The full article that you linked makes clear that Funes promised more to groups such as teachers than he could deliver, given the financial constraints on the government. Unfortunately, El Salvador does not have the tremendous oil wealth that has allowed Chavez to buy public support in Venezuela. (Let's hope that El Salvador never starts treating the free press the way that Chavez has.) It will be interesting to see what the voters do in the next election.