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Statement from the CEO of OGP on the Situation in El Salvador

Comunicado del CEO de OGP sobre la situación en El Salvador

Sanjay Pradhan|

As the leader of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), I am alarmed by concerns raised by civil society organizations regarding the dismissal of the Constitutional Court Justices and the Attorney General, and closing civic space in El Salvador. These actions undermine the rule of law and a true separation of powers, which are cornerstones of a well-functioning democracy. This concern is amplified  by ongoing democratic regression in the country, including curbed civil liberties in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and El Salvador’s downgrade from a “flawed democracy” to a “hybrid regime” in the 2020 Democracy Index.

Upon joining OGP in 2011, the government of El Salvador signed the Open Government Declaration, which states that members must commit to strengthening the rule of law, implementing robust anti-corruption policies, mechanisms and practices, and to protecting the ability of not-for-profit and civil society organizations to operate in ways consistent with a commitment to freedom of expression, association, and opinion. Additionally, signatories of the declaration commit to creating mechanisms to enable greater collaboration between governments and civil society organizations and businesses. 

Upholding the values expressed in the Declaration, including transparency, participation and accountability, is at the heart of OGP and the multi-stakeholder process it helps to support in El Salvador. These values are more important than ever in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has required increased public resources.

OGP urges the Government of El Salvador to reestablish the conditions that allow for a constructive dialogue with civil society as they work together to create a new action plan in 2021. In their latest communication to OGP, the Government of El Salvador has reinstated their commitment to fighting corruption, promoting democracy and observing OGP values. I encourage the government to work with civil society and use the action plan to put in place democratic reforms that respect the rule of law, ensure the separation of powers, and safeguard and protect civic space. 

OGP and the open government community are ready to provide the necessary support to accomplish this task, by working to facilitate a true dialogue between the government and civil society and deliver a stronger democracy for the people of El Salvador.

 

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About OGP:

In 2011, government leaders and civil society advocates came together to create a unique partnership—one that combines these powerful forces to promote accountable, responsive and inclusive governance.

Seventy-eight countries and a growing number of local governments—representing more than two billion people—along with thousands of civil society organizations are members of the Open Government Partnership (OGP).

For questions or to set up interviews please contact commsteam@opengovpartnership.org.

Filed Under: Civic Space

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