Tony Saca will run for another term as president

Antonio (Tony) Saca made it official that he will be a candidate for president in 2014.  Saca  was president of El Salvador from 2004 through 2009 from the right wing ARENA party.  A president in El Salvador cannot be re-elected to successive terms, and ARENA's candidate in 2009, Rodrigo Avila lost by a wide margin to Mauricio Funes running as the candidate of the FMLN.    After ARENA's defeat, Saca broke with that party and has been seen aligned with the new GANA party.   In fact GANA's leadership has announced that Saca will be their candidate in 2014.

Saca's candidacy will make the 2014 a real three way race among Saca and Salvador Sanchez Ceren, the current vice president from the FMLN and Norman Quijano the ARENA mayor of San Salvador.   I think in a two way race, Quijano would have easily beaten Sanchez Ceren.   The question is whether a Saca candidacy will split the right wing vote.   In that case, the most likely outcome would be the requirement of a  second round election between Quijano or Saca and Sanchez Ceren.   In that second round, my early guess is that we will still see one of the right wing candidates win.    Quijano is very popular, and Saca had relatively high popularity ratings throughout his presidency.   Sanchez Ceren just does not have the personal appeal of the other two, and his origins in the hard left of the FMLN make him unattractive to moderate Salvadoran voters.

But we have 15 months of election campaigning before we know the real answer.



David said…
I think the question is, who will Saca align with -- no matter what position he comes in during the first round -- in a second round. My bet would be that the FMLN will more likely align with him than with ARENA. Unfortunately, Saca and his party will hold the deciding votes for anyone who wants to win.