Antonio Saca

Antonio Saca

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Elías Antonio Saca González (born in Usulután
Usulután
Usulután is the 5th largest city in El Salvador, and capital of the Department of Usulutan in the south-east of El Salvador. As of 2006, it is estimated to have population of 71,636 people.Usulutan rests in a rich agricultural valley....

, 9 March 1965) is a Salvadoran
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

 politician and was the President of El Salvador
President of El Salvador
This page contains a list of Presidents of El Salvador.-Heads of State of El Salvador within the Federal Republic of Central America :*Pedro Barriere : 21 September 1821 - 28 November 1821*José Matías Delgado : 28 Nov 1821 - 9 February 1823...

. He was elected President in 2004 to serve a five-year term that ended in 2009.

Saca is patrilineally descended from Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 (Catholic Christian
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

) immigrants who arrived in El Salvador in the early 20th century from the West Bank town of Bethlehem
Bethlehem
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank of the Jordan River, near Israel and approximately south of Jerusalem, with a population of about 30,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority and a hub of Palestinian culture and tourism...

. Prior to becoming President he was a broadcast journalist, specializing in sports radio and a prominent businessman. He attended the University of Central America. He is an outspoken Evangelical Protestant and has expressed his faith through his historic friendliness with Salvadoran and American Protestant churches.

On 21 March 2004 Saca was elected President of El Salvador
President of El Salvador
This page contains a list of Presidents of El Salvador.-Heads of State of El Salvador within the Federal Republic of Central America :*Pedro Barriere : 21 September 1821 - 28 November 1821*José Matías Delgado : 28 Nov 1821 - 9 February 1823...

, and on 1 June 2004 succeeded President Francisco Flores
Francisco Flores Pérez
Francisco Guillermo Flores Pérez is an ex president of El Salvador. He led the country from June 1 1999 until June 1 2004 as a member of the conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance .-Background:...

. Both Saca and Flores are members of the conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 Nationalist Republican Alliance
Nationalist Republican Alliance
The Nationalist Republican Alliance is a conservative political party in El Salvador. It was founded on September 30, 1981, by Roberto D'Aubuisson, in order to oppose the reformist military junta that was ruling El Salvador at the time...

 party, generally known by its Spanish-language
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 acronym ARENA.

During the election campaign, some commentators criticized Saca's lack of political experience. In the election, Saca defeated leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front
Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front
The Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front is, since 1992, a left-wing political party in El Salvador and formerly a coalition of five revolutionary guerrilla organizations...

 (FMLN) candidate, Schafik Handal
Schafik Handal
Schafik Jorge Handal was a Salvadoran politician. Born in Usulután, he was the son of Palestinian Arab immigrants.-Biography:...

, also of Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 descent. The election results were:
  • Antonio Saca (ARENA) 57.7%
  • Schafik Handal (FMLN) 35.6%
  • Héctor Silva (CDU-PDC) 3.9%
  • Other 2.8%

Cabinet and important Positions in the Government


Marisol Argueta, Minister of Foreign Relations

David Gutierrez, Minister of Public Works

Juan Miguel Bolaños, Minister of the Interior (Gobernación) from June 2007 to February 2009.

Douglas Alas, Minister of the Interior (Gobernacion) from February 2009- June 2009.

Darlyn Meza, Minister of Education

Jorge Molina Contreras, Minister of Defense

Guillermo Maza, Minister of Health

Rene Mario Figueroa, Minister of Protection and Justice

Delmer Rodriguez, Vice minister of Protection and Justice

William Handal, Minister of Treasury

Benjamin Cestoni, Vice minister of Transportation

Carlos Guerrero, Minister of Natural Environment

Eduardo Calix, Vice minister of Foreign Relations

Nelson Nolasco, Director of ISSS from May 5, 2006 to June 2009.

Cesar Daniel Funes, President of the Water and Sewage Administration from May 5, 2006 to June 2009

Ricardo Menesses, Director of National Civilian Police

Accomplishments

President Saca initiated the "Solidarian Network plan" on October 2005 with international aid from European countries such as Spain. This plan was aimed at communities considered below the poverty line. A map of poor areas was developed, and financial aid in the amount of $15 to $20 per month per family was to be distributed in the designation areas. The plan was initiated in the Balsam Range municipalities (Cordillera del Balsamo), such as Jicalapa, in La Libertad department.

With his embracing of the free-market and pro-United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 policies like those pursued by Flores, Saca was the clear favorite of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 government in the 2004 presidential election
Salvadoran presidential election, 2004
A presidential election was held in El Salvador on Sunday, 21 March 2004. The Salvadoran people elected a new president, together with his vice-president, for a five-year term.Antonio "Tony" Saca of the ARENA party won the election...

. Saca was one of the leaders in Latin America to send troops to Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, though he was the only one to maintain them on extended deployment. El Salvador's military commitment in Iraq ended in February 2009.

External links