Born out of frustration with decades partisan corruption, the people of El Salvador will likely re-elect Nayib Bukele as president of El Salvador and representatives of his New Ideas Party to a significant majority in the legislature next month.
Building on the powerful grassroots organizing in 150 communities across El Salvador, COFOA is showing that citizen participation is the way to preserve democracy and secure better lives for children and families. COFOA leaders have spent months creating a people’s platform that they are now presenting to candidates. Voters will be able to weigh candidate responses before they vote. COFOA leaders have set a goal of increasing turnout by 1,000 new voters in six important departments.
While Bukele and his New Ideas party legislators are working to centralize power by significantly reducing the number of deputies and mayors, COFOA leaders are working to decentralize power by urging people to exercise their vote. While Bukele through his New Ideas party controls policy and directs investments for further centralization, COFOA is organizing the voice of people in the poorest, most marginalized communities to hold any and every government accountable to the people.
To further build their base of power, COFOA staff and leaders have organized meetings with 215 official local development organizations (ADESCOS) that have been sidelined by the national government. COFOA is inviting the ADESCOS to organizing and membership, which would double the size of COFOA.
COFOA is also partnering with faith communities and several universities to prepare leaders to observe elections and report publicly whether they are conducted fairly.
We look forward to reporting the outcomes of this campaign in the coming months. We are confident COFOA will demonstrate people’s organized participation will strengthen real democracy.