Officially: República de El Salvador.
Seat of government: San Salvador.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: The president is elected directly. The legislature (Asamblea Legislativa) is elected in the departamentos (with each departamento a single constituency and number of members proportionate to population), modified by party-list proportional representation.
Governing parties: Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional; Gran Alianza por la Unidad Nacional.
Head of government: Salvador Sánchez Cerén, FMLN, president.
Chief opposition party: Alianza Republicana Nacionalista.
Assessment: The conservative AReNa is the product of the former military régime, while the leftist FMLN was the armed opposition to it. Under the last AReNa president, Tony Saca González (2004-9), the leftist FMLN dominated local politics and was the largest party in the legislature. Legislative elections in 2009 saw FMLN take a plurality, but not a majority; a presidential election soon after saw Mauricio Funes (2009-14) of the FMLN win a narrow victory as well, the first loss by AReNa since the civil war ended in 1991. In 2012 legislative elections, AReNa won a plurality, but FMLN and its (conservative) ally GAUN won a slight majority. The 2014 election for the presidency was also won by the FMLN. In the 2015 legislative election, AReNa again won a plurality; FMLN and GAUN retained exactly half of all seats.
FH: 2-3, free. Econ: 6.40 (67), flawed democracy.
Updated: 2015 April 26.