No compromise yet - meetings continue

A third day of meetings between the leader's of El Salvador's political parties and president Mauricio Funes ended at 10:30 Friday night without reaching any agreement.   The parties will pick up again on Saturday afternoon.

Somewhat troubling were remarks of president Funes indicating that the political leaders were also talking about the elections of magistrates to the Supreme Court in 2009.    Only the magistrate elections of 2006 and 2012 have been ruled invalid by the Constitutional Chamber.    But the FMLN and other factions in the National Assembly have pushed an investigation alleging there were irregularities in the composition of the list of lawyers from whom the 2006 magistrates were chosen.  This is an investigation aimed squarely at Belarmino Jaime, the leader of the Constitutional Chamber, and the thorn in the side of the political party leaderships.


Carlos X. said…
Tim, the focus on the 2009 court would be troubling because it would suggest that the politicians are still grasping for ways to shut down the magistrates, even with the uproar such strategems have provoked in the past. Wary Salvadoran observers have also raised concerns that the director of the state intelligence agency (Ricardo Perdomo) should be sitting next to Funes--as opposed to say, the president's secretary for strategic affairs (Franzi Hasbún, who is presumably out of pocket because of health reasons). It would be as if, when the U.S. was deciding whether to heed the Supreme Court's order to desegrate the schools, Pres. Eisenhower walked into a meeting accompanied by J. Edgar Hoover. (Eisenhower famously sent in the National Guard to enforce the Court's ruling, cementing the precedent that the U.S. would obey the courts.) Other interesting notes on process in the meetings in El Salvador: Pres. Funes has said that the group is using the Civil War Peace Accords as a model, which gives an insight into the stakes or perhaps the level of intrasigence of the parties. Other remarks reveal that the group is using a negotiation model suggested by the U.N. in which partial agreements reached are "placed in a cooler" to be fine tuned later. Funes said that the Legislative Assembly would do the final fine tuning--which could also raise questions about devils left to lurk in the details. Finally, we have learned that one of the parties in the meetings (the CD) is not siding with either faction, but is helping Funes as facilitators. To be a fly on that wall!