Margaret Scott

Le test démocratique du Salvador

L’ancien maire de Londres, Ken Livingstone, est connu pour avoir dit en plaisantant à l’époque de sa jeunesse militante, que si le fait de voter pouvait changer quoique se soit, le pouvoir politique l’aurait aboli depuis longtemps. En fait, il se trouve qu’en Amérique latine, les élections peuvent réellement faire une différence. La dernière preuve en est que Mauricio Funes, le candidat du FMLN – jusqu’à peu un mouvement de guérilla marxiste – vient de remporter les élections présidentielles au Salvador.

Ce fait est assez étonnant pour un pays qui, pour aussi longtemps qu’on s’en souvienne, a été gouverné par une oligarchie réactionnaire, que ce soit par la force ou par la ruse. Si l’étroite victoire électorale de la gauche salvadorienne est acceptée sans incidents – comme elle l’a été jusqu’à présent – cela voudra dire que l’Amérique latine a vraiment évolué.

Que ce revirement historique soit perçu comme le moment clé de la consolidation de la démocratie au Salvador ou comme le début d’un glissement vers l’instabilité dépendra de la capacité de M. Funes à équilibrer deux impératifs complexes et contradictoires : mettre en œuvre les profondes transformations sociales dont le Salvador a cruellement besoin, tout en appelant l’ensemble de la classe politique à faire preuve de modération. Avec près de la moitié de la population sous le seuil de pauvreté, les profondes inégalités sociales du Salvador sous-tendent son histoire politique tumultueuse, la hausse du taux de la criminalité et une immigration massive.

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