El Salvador profile

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Mauricio Funes Mr Funes is the first left-wing president in two decades

Outgoing president: Mauricio Funes

Mr Funes was the first left-wing president to be elected in two decades

He defeated his conservative rival from the Arena party, which had otherwise won every election since El Salvador's civil war ended in 1992.

Mr Funes' FMLN party (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front) was founded by Marxist guerrillas fighting the US-backed government in the 1980s.

At least 75,000 people were killed during the civil war. In 1992 the FMLN signed a peace agreement and re-branded itself as a political party.

Mr Funes himself was never involved in armed uprising. He gave up his career as TV journalist to run for president, and has identified more with the democratic left government of Brazil than with the radical administrations in Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America.

An admirer of US President Barack Obama, he also campaigned on a platform of change and sought a relationship of "understanding and mutual respect" with the United States.

His vice-president, former rebel commander Salvador Sanchez Ceren, narrowly beat the Arena candidate in the 2014 presidential election, and will take office in June.

Election officials declared Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a former left-wing rebel, as winner of the 2014 presidential election. They said he won the run-off vote in March by 0.2%, beating Norman Quijano of the opposition Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA).

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