Salvador Election Results Prompt Rebel Cease-Fire Plan
David Clark Scott, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor
EVEN as final results in El Salvador's March 10 legislative election were being released Friday, both sides in the country's 11-year civil war were talking of a cease-fire, possibly by May 30.
The strong showing by leftist parties, participating in elections for the first time in a decade, coupled with a small drop in support for the ruling conservative National Republican Alliance (ARENA) Party could help United Nations-sponsored peace talks, analysts say.
Indeed, Joaquin Villalobos, the leader of the Farabundo Mart146 National Liberation Front (FMLN) rebels, last week proposed a cease-fire by the end of May. Until now, the leftist rebels have insisted that reform of the Army, the Constitution, and the country's judicial system were prerequisites to a cease-fire.
FMLN leaders made the proposal in Nicaragua last week at a meeting between Central American and European Community foreign ministers. The plan calls for talks focused on restructuring the Army and constitutional reforms, as well as terms for a cease-fire. The FMLN wants constitutional reforms (which would be the basis for reforming security forces and the judicial system) passed by April 30, when the term for members of this Legislative Assembly ends.
Salvadoran Vice President Francisco Merino Lopez described the cease-fire proposal as a potentially "substantial advance" in the peace process. And UN negotiator Alvaro de Soto, breaking a silence on dates for a settlement, said a cease-fire in April was possible.
But a European diplomat in El Salvador warns that agreeing on constitutional reforms and pushing it through the Assembly by April 30 will be "difficult." Optimism over negotiations has been shattered many times by resurging conflict on the battlefield, he says.
Still, the pending arrival of leftist politicians in the Assembly could prompt ARENA to push reforms through while it still has an outright legislative …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Salvador Election Results Prompt Rebel Cease-Fire Plan. Contributors: David Clark Scott, writer of The Christian Science Monitor - Author. Newspaper title: The Christian Science Monitor. Publication date: March 25, 1991. Page number: 4. © 2009 The Christian Science Publishing Society. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.