Nationalist Republican Alliance

The Nationalist Republican Alliance (Spanish: Alianza Republicana Nacionalista, ARENA) is a conservative, right-wing political party of El Salvador. It was founded on 30 September 1981 by retired Salvadoran soldier Roberto D'Aubuisson and businesswoman Mercedes Gloria Salguero Gross.[10] It defines itself as a political institution constituted by "Salvadorans who defend the democratic, republican, and representative system of government, the social market economy system and nationalism".

Nationalist Republican Alliance

Alianza Republicana Nacionalista
LeaderGustavo López Davidson
Founded30 September 1981
HeadquartersProlongación Calle Arce, entre 45 y 47 av N. #2429. Col. Flor Blanca, San Salvador, El Salvador
IdeologySalvadoran nationalism
Conservatism[1][2][3]
Economic liberalism
Political positionRight-wing[4][5][6][7][8][9]
International affiliationInternational Democrat Union
Regional affiliationUnion of Latin American Parties
ColoursBlue, White and Red
PARLACEN groupCentral American Democratic Alliance
Seats in the Legislative Assembly
37 / 84
Mayors
140 / 262
Central American Parliament
8 / 20
Website
arena.org.sv

ARENA controlled the National Assembly of El Salvador until 1985, and its party leader Alfredo Cristiani was elected to the presidency in 1989. ARENA controlled the presidency from 1989 until 2009. The party gained a plurality in the Legislative Assembly in 2012.

History

ARENA was founded in 1981 and was composed of former members from PCN. The party arose in response to "the insurgency of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, FMLN, a group that united peasant farmers, unionists and intellectuals, which tried, through arms, to overthrow the dictatorship and to install a state regime inspired by the governments of revolutionary Cuba and Sandinista Nicaragua".

The ideology the party affirms to believe in is a system of democratic and representative government, emphasizing individual rights, the family as the nucleus of society and the respect for private property.

In February 2007, three ARENA politicians were murdered in Guatemala, including Eduardo D'Aubuisson, the son of party founder Roberto D'Aubuisson, in what was considered by the police as a crime related to drugs.[11][12]

In 2009, ARENA took out a full-page ad in a Salvadorean newspaper calling on President Mauricio Funes to recognise the interim Honduran government of Roberto Micheletti installed after the military had expelled President Manuel Zelaya.[13]

Structure

ARENA is divided into eight sectors: Agricultural, Professional, Feminine, Youth, Workers, Peasants, Private Enterprise, and Expats.

The highest authority of the party ARENA is the Comité Ejecutivo Nacionalista (COENA, "Nationalist Executive Committee"), which consists of 13 members. The members must be re-elected annually through the General Assembly of ARENA members.

In addition to the COENA, there are 14 Directors-in-Chief, one for each department and departmental councils called "Juntas Directivas Conjuntas" to coordinate political work in their respective department. In each department, a director is chosen who works with a specific member of COENA. The director's role is to organize and co-ordinate electoral campaigns and help the councils form party structures in the municipalities of their departments.

On February 19, 2013, Jorge Velado assumed the position as president of COENA, in a party leadership shake-up aimed at re-energizing a stale organization tainted by its association with the violent death squads of the 1980s, widespread corruption and the switch to the U.S. dollar as the national currency. Velado's former position as COENA's vice-president of ideology was immediately assumed by Ernesto Muyshondt.

Electoral record

At the legislative elections held on March 16, 2003, the party won 32.0% of the popular vote and 27 out of 84 seats in the Legislative Assembly. ARENA's successful candidate in El Salvador's 2004 presidential election was Antonio Saca. On 21 March 2004, Saca defeated Schafik Handal, the candidate of the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, by a margin of 58% to 36% with 70% turnout. He was sworn in as president the following June 1.

In the March 12, 2006 legislative election, the party won 39.4% of the popular vote and 32 out of 84 seats. At the January 18, 2009 legislative elections, the party received 38.55% of the vote, and again won 32 of the 84 seats.

On 15 March 2009, ARENA candidate Rodrigo Ávila lost the presidential election to Mauricio Funes of the FMLN. After elections, the party president was changed to Alfredo Cristiani.

Electoral history

Presidential elections

Election Party candidate Votes % Votes % Result
First Round Second Round
1984 Roberto D'Aubuisson 376,917 29.77% 651,741 46.41% Lost N
1989 Alfredo Cristiani 505,370 53.82% - - Elected Y
1994 Armando Calderón Sol 641,108 49.03% 818,264 68.35% Elected Y
1999 Francisco Flores 614,268 51.96% - - Elected Y
2004 Antonio Saca 1,314,436 57.71% - - Elected Y
2009 Rodrigo Ávila 1,284,588 48.68% - - Lost N
2014 Norman Quijano 1,047,592 38.96% 1,489,451 49.89% Lost N
2019 Carlos Calleja 857,084 31.72% - - Lost N

Legislative Assembly elections

Election Votes % Seats +/– Position
1982 286,665 29.28%
19 / 60
19 2nd
1985 286,665 29.70%
13 / 60
6 2nd
1988 447,696 48.10%
31 / 60
18 1st
1991 466,091 44.33%
39 / 84
8 1st
1994 605,775 45.03%
39 / 84
1st
1997 396,301 35.40%
28 / 84
11 1st
2000 436,169 36.04%
29 / 84
1 1st
2003 446,233 31.90%
27 / 84
1 2nd
2006 620,117 39.40%
34 / 84
7 2nd
2009 854,166 38.55%
32 / 84
2 2nd
2012 620,117 39.40%
34 / 84
2 2nd
2015 885,374 38.90%
32 / 84
2 1st
2018 886,365 41.72 %
37 / 84
5 1st

ARENA Presidents of El Salvador

  ARENA (4)
No.Name
(Birth–Death)
PortraitTerm of OfficeVice President
1
(40)
Alfredo Cristiani
(born 1947)
1 June 19891 June 1994José Francisco Merino López
2
(41)
Armando Calderón Sol
(1948–2017)
1 June 19941 June 1999Enrique Borgo Bustamante
3
(42)
Francisco Flores Pérez
(1959–2016)
1 June 19991 June 2004Carlos Quintanilla Schmidt
4
(43)
Antonio Saca
(born 1965)
1 June 20041 June 2009Ana Vilma de Escobar

References

  1. "El Salvador's presidential election: A nation divided", The Economist, 12 March 2009
  2. Van Der Lijn, Jair (2006), Walking the Tightrope: Do UN peacekeeping operations actually contribute to durable peace?, Rozenberg Publishers, p. 252
  3. Middlebrook, Kevin J. (2000), "Conclusion", Conservative Parties, the Right, and Democracy in Latin America, JHU Press, p. 286
  4. Beetham, David (2002), "El Salvador", The State of Democracy, Kluwer Law International, p. 27
  5. Wood, Elisabeth J. (2000), "Civil War and the Transformation of Elite Representation in El Salvador", Conservative Parties, the Right, and Democracy in Latin America, JHU Press, p. 243
  6. "El Salvador", The Europa World Year Book 2008, Taylor & Francis, p. 1649, 2008
  7. Atkins, Stephen E. (2004), "ARENA", Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups, Greenwood Press, p. 24
  8. Bounds, Andrew (2001), "El Salvador: History", South America, Central America and the Caribbean 2002, Routledge, p. 384
  9. Middlebrook, Kevin J. (2000), "Introduction", Conservative Parties, the Right, and Democracy in Latin America, JHU Press, p. 26
  10. "Expresidenta de Arena pide enderezar proceso de elección de candidato". Elfaro.net. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  11. http://www.elfaro.net/es/201011/noticias/2911/
  12. "$5 Million Dollars and 20 Kilos of Cocaine". 18 November 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  13. CounterPunch, 22 July 2009, Back to the Future? Return to El Salvador
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