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(09/29/08) -

Leftist Funes Leads vila in El Salvador

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Public support for Mauricio Funes of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) is high in El Salvador, according to a poll by Universidad Francisco Gavidia. 47.4 per cent of respondents would vote for Funes in next year’s presidential election.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Public support for Mauricio Funes of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) is high in El Salvador, according to a poll by Universidad Francisco Gavidia. 47.4 per cent of respondents would vote for Funes in next year’s presidential election.

Rodrigo Ávila of the governing conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) is a distant second with 23.8 per cent. Less than five per cent of respondents would vote for other candidates, and roughly one-in-four are undecided.

ARENA’s Antonio Saca, a media businessman, was elected in March 2004, garnering 57.73 per cent of the vote. ARENA candidates have won the last four presidential elections in the Central American country. Saca is ineligible for a consecutive term in office.

In September 2007, Funes became the FMLN’s presidential nominee. In March 2008, Ávila, a former National Police chief, won ARENA’s three-candidate internal nationwide primary.

The FMLN was once an umbrella armed group of left-wing revolutionaries fighting against the Salvadoran establishment. In the early 1990s, the FMLN was disbanded and became a legal political party.

On Sept. 1, Tomás Chévez was anointed as the presidential candidate for the National Conciliation Party (PCN). Chévez is a pastor in the powerful ELIM Christian church. His bid is backed by the Foundation for the Union of Salvadoran Christian Churches (UNICSAL). The candidate said that his platform will seek to "re-establish a real legal state that guarantees the safety of the judicial system and the citizens through energetic and correct law enforcement."

The next legislative election is scheduled for Jan. 18, 2009, with a presidential ballot following on Mar. 15.

Polling Data

Which of these candidates would you vote for in the next presidential election?

Mauricio Funes (FMLN)

47.4%

Rodrigo Ávila (ARENA)

23.8%

Others

4.8%

Undecided

24.0%

Source: Universidad Francisco Gavidia
Methodology: Interviews to 1,628 Salvadoran voters, conducted from Sept. 16 to Sept. 20, 2008. Margin of error is 2.6 per cent.