Sunday, September 19, 2004

Elections: what, again already?

Ugh. Three elections in four years: 2003, 2004, and 2006.

ARENA wants to win back a majority of deputies in the March 2006 elections--18 months away. As the second largest party in the country, the only way they can govern is in alliance with the officially slimy PCN party. They gave the PCN a seat on the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, which may end up eventually being reversed by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.

So they're already getting the campaign going, even considering primaries--at least in the larger cities. Up until now, only the FMLN has considered primaries--and, well, their primary for the presidential candidate turns out to have been rigged.

To his credit, President Tony Saca disposed of his presidential prerogatives, and chose to use private and party vehicles for a number of public meetings yesterday. "We should get close to the people, without using state resources."

That will be quite something if he can keep ARENA to that pledge, but I wouldn't start betting on it just yet. One thing is the high-profile image of the country's president; another is that of the hundreds of municipal and executive branch employees who end up becoming political party operatives during campaign season.

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