Elections in El Salvador

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
El Salvador

The government of El Salvador is a presidential representative democratic republic.

El Salvador elects its head of state – the President of El Salvador – directly through a fixed-date general election whose winner is decided by absolute majority. If an absolute majority (50% + 1) is not achieved by any candidate in the first round of a presidential election, then a run-off election is conducted 30 days later between the two candidates who obtained the most votes in the first round. The presidential period is five years. Consecutive re-election is not permitted, though previously elected presidents may run for a second, non-consecutive term.

Salvadorans also elect a single-chamber, unicameral national legislature – the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador – composed of 84 members (deputies). They are elected by open-list proportional representation for three-year terms, with the possibility of immediate re-election. All 84 seats in the Legislative Assembly are elected on the basis of 14 multi-member constituencies (corresponding to El Salvador's 14 departments). They range from 3-16 seats each according to department population size.

Political culture

El Salvador has a multi-party system. Two political parties, the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) have tended to dominate elections. ARENA candidates won four consecutive presidential elections until the election of Mauricio Funes of the FMLN in March 2009.

Geographically, the departments of the Central region, especially the capital and the coastal regions, known as departamentos rojos, or red departments, are relatively Leftist. The departamentos azules, or blue departments in the east, western and highland regions are relatively conservative.



Position 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Type Gubernatorial (March)
National Congress (March)
None Presidential (March) National Congress (March)
Gubernatorial (March)
President and
vice president
None President and vice president None
National Congress All seats None All seats None
Provinces, cities and municipalities All positions None All positions None


Position 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Type Gubernatorial (June)
National Congress (June)
None Presidential (June)
National Congress (June)
President and
vice president
None 1 June None
National Congress 1 May None 1 May None
Provinces, cities and municipalities 1 May None 1 May None

Latest elections

2012 Legislative Assembly election

e • d  Summary of the 10 March 2012 Salvadoran Legislative Assembly election results
Party Votes % Seats +/–
Nationalist Republican Alliance (Alianza Republicana Nacionalista) 870,418 39.76% 33 Increase 1
Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional) 804,760 36.76% 31 Decrease 4
Grand Alliance for National Unity (Alianza por la Unidad Nacional) 210,101 9.6% 11 Increase 11
National Coalition (Concertación Nacional)1 157,074 7.18% 74 Decrease 4
Party of Hope (Partido de la Esperanza)2 60,486 2.76% 14 Decrease 4
Democratic Change (Cambio Democrático) 46,838 2.14% 1 Steady 0
National Liberal Party (Partido Nacional Liberal) 14,379 0.66% 0 Steady 0
People's Party (Partido Popular) 10,952 0.50% 0 Steady 0
Independents3 14,098 0.63% 0 Steady 0
Totals 2,215,589 100.00% 84
1Compared to National Conciliation Party in 2009.
2Compared to Christian Democratic Party in 2009.
3Five independent candidates. Percentage and votes are cumulative.
4A MP from Chalatenango that won, ran on a joint CN and PES ticket and got 17,072 votes, or 0.78% (counted here for CN).
Source: Supreme Electoral Tribunal

2014 presidential election

Candidate Party First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Salvador Sánchez Cerén Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front 1,315,768 48.93 1,495,815 50.11
Norman Quijano Nationalist Republican Alliance 1,047,592 38.96 1,489,451 49.89
Antonio Saca Unity Movement 307,603 11.44
René Rodriguez Hurtado Salvadoran Progressive Party 11,314 0.42
Óscar Lemus Salvadoran Patriot Fraternity 6,659 0.25
Invalid/blank votes 34,310 19,579
Total 2,723,246 100 3,004,845 100
Registered voters/turnout 4,955,107 54.96 4,955,107 60.64
Source: TSE[1][2]

2018 Legislative Assembly election

See also


  1. ^ "TSE El Salvador – Elecciones Presidenciales 2014 – Escrutinio Final". Archived from the original on March 6, 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-08. 
  2. ^ "TSE El Salvador – Segunda Elección Presidencial 2014 – Escrutinio Final". Archived from the original on March 16, 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-08. 
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