El Salvador Political System

According to Countryaah.com, with capital city of San Salvador, El Salvador is a country located in North America with total population of 6,486,216.

Where is El Salvador

State and politics

Politically, El Salvador has been characterized by violence, coups, dictatorships and civil war and it was only after the signing of the peace agreement in 1992 that a freer party political work could develop.


El Salvador is a republic whose current constitution is from 1983. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how SV can stand for El Salvador. The country is governed by a president who is both head of state and government as well as commander-in-chief. The President is elected for a term of five years and may sit for several terms, but not in a row.

Parliament, the National Assembly, has 84 directly elected members who are elected for three-year terms.

The country is divided into 14 regions governed by governors appointed by the president, and 262 municipalities, governed by elected mayors.


Following the signing of the peace agreement, the political scene was long dominated by the two parties negotiating the agreement: the right-wing party Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA), which ruled the country during the civil war and had government power until 2009, and the former guerrilla alliance Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FML)), who won the 2009 and 2014 presidential elections.

Following the 2009 presidential election, a group of MPs from ARENA jumped off and formed a new party, Gran Alianza por la Unidad Nacional (GANA), led by former President Antonio Saca. GANA was originally a right-wing party and initially received great support, but lost in popularity when Saca was accused of corruption.

When the popular mayor of the capital, San Salvador, Nayib Bukele, broke with the FMLN, he turned to GANA, which had then moved towards the political center. Bukele needed a party behind him to stand in the 2019 presidential election. Bukele took a clear victory when he got 54 percent of the vote already in the first round, which meant the end of FMLN and ARENA’s dominance, at least as far as the presidential post is concerned..

Since the mid-1990s, Parliament has also been dominated by ARENA and the FMLN. It has usually separated only a few mandates between the parties, with barely overweight for ARENA (except after the 2000 and 2003 elections). However, the 2018 election led to a stronger takeover for ARENA, which received 37 of 84 seats against 23 for the FMLN. 26 of the members (31 percent) were women at that time.

Several historically significant parties, such as the Christian Democratic Partido Demócrata Cristiano (PDC) and the military’s old party Partido de Conciliación Nacional (PNC), have lost support and entered into various temporary alliances of several small parties.


The judiciary consists of small-scale courts (with peace judges), general courts of the courts, appellate courts and the Supreme Court. The legal system is in principle codified according to continental European models. The most important codifications are the Civil Code, the Commercial Code, the Criminal Code, the Civil Procedure Act and the Criminal Procedure Act. The death penalty was abolished in 1983 for crimes committed during peacetime but can still be punished under war or warlike conditions. The last known execution took place in 1973.

Heads of State

Presidents (in selection)

1841-42 Juan Lindo
1842-44 Juan Guzmán
1844-45 Francisco Malespín
1845-46 Juan Guzmán
1846-48 Eugenio Aguilar
1848-51 Doroteo Vasconcelos
1851-52 Juan Quirós
1852-54 Francisco Dueñas
1854-56 José San Martín
1856-58 Rafael Campo
1858-60 Miguel Santín de Castillo
1860-63 Gerardo Barrios
1863-71 Francisco Dueñas
1871-76 Santiago González
1876-85 Rafael Zalvídar
1885-90 Francisco Menéndez
1890-94 Carlos Ezeta
1894-98 Rafael Gutiérrez
1898-1903 Tomás Regalado
1903-07 Pedro Escalón
1907-11 Fernando Figueroa
1911-13 Manuel Araújo
1913-14 Carlos Meléndez
1914-15 Alfonso Quiñónez
1915-19 Carlos Meléndez
1919-23 Jorge Meléndez
1923-27 Alfonso Quiñónez
1927-31 Pío Bosque
1931-44 Maximiliano Hernandez Martínez
1944-45 Osmín Aguirre
1945-48 Salvador Castañeda
1948-49 Manuel Córdoba
1949-50 Óscar Bolaños
1950-56 Óscar Osorio
1956-60 José Lemus
1960 junta
1961 new military junta
1962-67 Julio Rivera
1967-72 Fidel Sánchez
1972-77 Arturo Molina
1977-79 Carlos Romero
1979-80 junta
1980-82 José Napoleón Duarte
1982-84 Álvaro Magaña
1984-89 José Napoleón Duarte
1989-94 Alfredo Cristiani
1994-99 Armando Calderón Sol
1999-2004 Francisco Flores
2004-09 Antonio Saca
2009-14 Marício Funes
2014-19 Salvador Sanchez Cerén
2019- Nayib Bukele