FMLN's Convention Resolutions
Promoting municipalities that are democratic and that generate development. Superceding the presidentialist system and making a modernized and democratized legislative assembly the first power of government. These are the proposals of the FMLN.
In December, the People's Renovating Expression (ERP) and the National Resistance (RN) announced their definitive withdrawal from the FMLN. Despite the reasons they gave and their assurances that the decision was not made just at the top level, many members in the two organizations said they were not in agreement.
The main reason offered by both parties is that El Salvador needs a new social democratic force that can pull together the less polarized sectors between ARENA and the FMLN, in particular joining the ERP and RN with the Revolutionary National Movement (MNR) and dissident Christian Democrats. Some allude to recent Salvadoran history, which has been so polarized that many have been left out of politics, but others believe that the decision is based more on opportunism than on an accurate analysis of the country's reality. It remains to be seen whether the objective is personal ascent or truly responds to a national political project aimed at consolidating democracy in El Salvador.
Such a drastic decision raises many questions. Has the FMLN reached the limits of its capacity as a political force? Is it capable of generating an internal revolution that would allow it to respond to the current challenges?
Some clues to the answers can be found in the following document, "The Final Resolution of the FMLN National Convention," hammered out by the three remaining parties: the Popular Liberation Forces, the Communist Party of El Salvador and the Revolutionary Party of Central American Workers.
General ConsiderationsRegarding the Priority Points of Our 1995 97 Political Agenda:
1. The peace accords set in motion the most important political reform in national history. Nonetheless, substantial aspects of it are inconclusive and distorted.
For this reason, critical tasks of the reform remain to be completed and corrected so as to constitute a modern and stable democracy.
To consolidate the rule of law and democratic governability, a fundamental problem is still to be resolved: the eradication of institutional impunity and assurance of unrestricted respect for human rights.
2. The ARENA government's neoliberal policies aggravate the structural problems of concentrated wealth, massification of poverty and environmental destruction.
A small group of families controls the economy, particularly the financial system it appropriated by illicit means. These are the main beneficiaries of the current growth trend.
More capital is now concentrated in fewer hands than before the war, which constitutes the main obstacle to economic and social democratization.
The other side of the coin is the massification of poverty, marked deterioration of social services, increased living costs, high unemployment rates, high crime levels, starvation wages and the absence of development opportunities for grassroots sectors and small, medium and even many large businesses.
Our country lacks a solid productive base that can assure long term sustained development. There is a boom in financial speculation and the economy is highly dependent on foreign cooperation and dollars sent by Salvadorans living abroad.
3. To advance the country's democratization beyond what was established in the Chapultepec accord, it is necessary to promote a strategy to clean up and modernize the state with a long term vision. The central challenge of this process right now is to eradicate the corruption that is eating away most public institutions.
ResolutionsTo this end, the FMLN National Convention resolves to promote a 1995 97 political agenda with the following priority objectives:
1. Break the system of impunity and deal with the serious crime problem prevailing in the country, assuring full and effective fulfillment of the peace accords, stressing that which refers to:
* purging, professionalizing and strengthening the investigative capacity of the Civilian National Police;
* assuring the Army's non intervention in public security affairs;
* reforming the judicial system, especially purging corrupt judges and other cleansing and modernizing measures;
* effective compliance with the recommendations of the Truth Commission and the Joint Group to investigate illegal armed groups;
* strengthening the Solicitor's Office for the Defense of Human Rights.
2. Promote economic democratization and modernization, particularly a reform aimed at developing a grassroots economic sector. To this effect, we propose that the following be promoted as priority activities:
* reverse the concentration of wealth in a few hands, demanding the repeal of the financial system's fraudulent privatization and its reprivatization in legal terms, to make into an effective instrument for human development and overcoming poverty.
* assure the special priority of health and education areas in social investment, promoting decentralization and assuring that these services be free and efficient.
3. Break with the system of government corruption and influence peddling, promoting effective investigation into and punishment for these crimes.
4. Promote an electoral reform that assures truly democratic elections in 1997 and 1999.
To achieve these objectives, we propose to:
1. Advance in the process of unifying, renovating and consolidating the FMLN as a bulwark of democratization, modernization and social justice in El Salvador.
2. Work to strengthen a broad movement of social and political forces at the national and local levels committed to the integral democratization of our country.
3. Promote the decentralization of the state's functions and the strengthening of municipal governments to bring well being to the Salvadoran population. Promote democratic and consensual municipalism that generates economic and social development and effectively fulfills the commitments assumed in our municipal government programs.
4. Modernize and democratize the Legislative Assembly, bring it closer to the people, overcome the presidentialist system and strengthen the legislative body's role as the first organ of the state.
5. Prepare ourselves to substantially expand our representation in the legislature and municipal governments in 1997.
6. Consistently point out ARENA's demagogy and non compliance with its electoral commitments.
7. Promote the ongoing search for understanding among the broadest sectors possible that are willing to promote common actions around issues that coincide with the national agenda.
Special ResolutionsThe Second Ordinary Convention of the Farabundo Martí Front for National Liberation Party (FMLN) agrees:
1. To advance on firm footing toward the unification of the FMLN as a democratic, revolutionary and pluralist party;
2. That the Political Commission and the National Council make the necessary dispositions to promote the unification of the base and leadership bodies of the FMLN;
3. As a first step, those elected to the FMLN Political Commission, Coordinators, Departmental Coordinators and National Secretaries will be exonerated of all responsibilities in their current activities so they can dedicate themselves to the FMLN's development.
4. To call on affiliates to work enthusiastically to promote the party's unification and build a stronger, more democratic FMLN, linked more closely to the people and their struggles, and, above all, more united.