This past Friday, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court issued a resolution that prohibits public functionaries from participating in the current presidential campaign, regardless of whether they do it outside of work hours or not. In a statement, the judges said the participation of mayors, legislators, and ministers in the electoral campaign violates Article 218 of the Constitution which states public functionaries “cannot take advantage of their positions for partisan politics”.
Current president, Mauricio Funes, who had previously issued guidelines to his ministers to only participate in campaign events outside of work hours, has since instructed his officials to abide by the Court’s decision. It comes six days before the close of the official campaign period for the Feb 2 presidential elections, so is unlikely to greatly impact any party’s campaign at this point. During the 20 years that the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) party governed the country (1989-2009), it was customary for presidents to use their political power to campaign. Ex-President, Tony Saca, as president toured throughout El Salvador to campaign for the ARENA presidential candidate in 2009.