According to calculations by the Center for Political Monitoring of Acción Ciudadana, the legislative fraction of the pro-government Nuevas Ideas would achieve 50 deputies, going from having 66.7% to 83.3% of the votes, if the D’Hondt system is applied in a Legislative Assembly of 60 legislators. The calculations of the AC Monitoring Center are based on the 2021 election results.
The calculation, published by the AC in March 2023, grants 6 deputies to allies of Nuevas Ideas –including Gana in coalition with NI in five departments– and 4 to opponents of the government, barely 6.6%. Under this scenario, Nuevas Ideas and its allies would add up to 93.3% of the votes.
The electoral reform, which will be applied from the next elections, reduced the number of deputies in the Legislative Assembly, from 84 to 60, and changed the formula for calculating the number of deputies won by political party in elections.
The reform was requested on June 1, 2023 by President Nayib Bukele, approved on June 7 at dawn by the Legislative Assembly and sanctioned by the ruler hours later.
The exercise led the AC to conclude that the plurality of the party system “is affected” by the reduction in the number of deputies and the D’Hondt formula, which favors the parties with the most votes and does not award seats to candidates with larger “residuals”, such as the Hare formula that applied until 2021.
The D’Hondt formula received the votes of 5 deputies from the Gran Alianza por la Unidad Nacional (Gana), 2 from the National Concertation Party, 1 from the Christian Democratic Party (PDC), 2 without a parliamentary group (former members of Arena) and 56 from New Ideas, in a plenary session that ended on Wednesday morning.
With the votes achieved in 2021, the new formula and the new size of the Assembly would leave 5 deputies for Gana and 1 for the PDC, leaving the PCN, Nuestro Tiempo and Vamos, which have 2, 1 and 1 seats, out of congress; and it would reduce the opposition to a minimum: Arena would go from winning 14 to 3 seats; and the FMLN, from 4 to 1.
“It is the electoral reform that benefits them (Nuevas Ideas). With this, the possibility of the opposition having a greater representation if it had a little more vote is practically closed”, says Eduardo Escobar, executive director of the AC.
The 60 seats with the D’Hondt formula
Acción Ciudadana takes up the results of the 2021 legislative elections and applies the D’Hondt formula in a legislative scenario of 60 deputies. He published it in March 2023 in an electoral reform newsletter. With information from DL and DEM.