After seven days, parties have small agreement on Supreme Court impasse

After seven negotiating sessions at the Presidential Palace, the leaders of El Salvador's political parties have reached a small level of agreement.   All parties have agreed to re-elect the 2006 class of magistrates.   With respect to the 2012 class of magistrates, the parties have agreed to the list of names of 11 lawyers from which they will elect the magistrates, but they have not agreed on what roles on the court those lawyers might be elected to.

Thus ARENA leaders have made it clear that they do not want Ovidio Bonilla, the magistrate who was elected president of the Supreme Court in April 2012, to be the president of the Supreme Court.  Now that they have the votes to block a two-thirds majority, they are insisting they will not approve the selection of a court president who they believe has strong ties to the FMLN.

There is apparently no agreement on the class of 2009 magistrates and whether the National Assembly will continue to assert that Belarmino Jaime has been effectively transferred out of the Constitutional Chamber.   A new development this week is the announcement of the FMLN that it will seek to impeach another of the 2009 magistrates, Rodolfo González, on the basis of an alleged incident of domestic violence directed at his wife in 2004.

With the start of the August festivals, the negotiators are going to join the rest of the country on vacation and resume negotiating on August 7.   The National Assembly will come into session for the new elections of  the 2006 and 2012 magistrates.   The party leaders agreed the elections will be "nominal and public" -- whatever that means.


Carlos X. said…
"Small agreements" is right, Tim: small agreements for a small, petty dispute that was allowed to cast a shadow over El Salvador's fledgling democratic institutions. The FMLN and ARENA continue to make under-their-breath accusations and even Pres. Funes laced his speech with snippy asides aimed at the embattled constitutional chamber. The latest attempt to remove Gonzalez shows that the FMLN still thinks it can salvage something of its original bid to break up the maverick magistrates. And the Central American Court of Justice can still manage to upend the "small agreement" by providing belated strength to the FMLN's position and removing some of the pressure on them to make a deal.
Carlos X. said…
BTW, "nominal and public" is a Const. requirement for certain votes that the legislature take. It means that the results of the vote must be published, and that the vote of each legislator must be detailed by name (the "nominal" part)--like a roll call.
Tim said…
Thanks Po;lycarp -- it was the "nominal" part that threw me.