Political Parties enter into dialogue as Hugo Martinez visits the U.S.
On Tuesday July 24, all of the political parties with representation in the Legislative Assembly sat down with President Funes to begin a dialogue to find a political solution to the current conflict regarding the appointment of Supreme Court Justices. Read more about the situation in an article by CISPES’ Alexis Stoumbelis on Upside Down World. By the end of the day on Tuesday everyone involved signed an agreement defining the terms of the talks and agreeing to meet again. At the press conference following the second day of negotiations President Funes said that significant progress was made but a final agreement has not been reached. Although the exact details of the discussions are not being released the general framework of the discussion seems to be an agreement which would abide by the ruling of the Court and re-elect judges. The FMLN, GANA, CN and PES have previously suggested re-electing all 10 judges that were elected in 2006 and 2012 but that suggestion has been blocked by ARENA. As the political parties sat down to negotiate, Minister of External Relations, Hugo Martinez, met in Washington with members of Congress and other entities of the U.S. Government. After meeting with representatives of the State Department and development agencies the Ministry released a statement which affirmed the strong ties between the two countries and indicated that the threat of cutting off aid to El Salvador made by three Senators was not being taken seriously. A joint statement by Senator Leahy and Representative McGovern agreed with earlier statements by Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson’s that the problem is an internal political struggle that the U.S. will not attempt to interfere. Leahy and McGovern also said that they were supportive of the talks between the political parties.