By Yaneth Estrada
A new face in worn Salvadoran politics, Leonor Selva of the Our Time party, professional, with an MA in Public Policy from the University of Oxford (United Kingdom), adviser on educational and socio-political policies, institutional, political systems and the rule of law, spoke about her proposals and challenges that motivated her to participate as a candidate for deputy for San Salvador, in moments of attacks and smears.
–How was the desire to participate in politics as a young woman born??
I think I always had the desire to participate in politics, that's why I trained in law and then in public policy, but this was the decision of the 2020, seeing the structural problems that the pandemic exposed, where even, not even there the current political actors could be up to the task, and there were complaints of corruption, mismanagement and overpriced purchases, which joined the widespread disenchantment, that's why I think, young people must change that perspective, so honest people, of principles and prepared arrives at the Legislative Assembly.
-How do you explain this disenchantment towards the political class?
It's a very simple approach, People have not felt all these years that the Legislative Assembly works to solve their day-to-day problems and that is because they have never had a social agenda, nor effective, nor sustainable.
That is to say, comes from a lack of interest in solving social problems, public and economic policies, motivated by personal interests, where the solutions are not motivated by a photo or the electoral campaign that is the big problem, because everything is designed from, what can i win, in electoral terms.
And here we have even seen at the country level, bad handling in good proposals, as in the case of the delivery of food packages, which was a good alternative during the mandatory home quarantine, but one year later they continue to damage national food production.
For me, the food packages must have been on a temporary basis, now that the economy is open we see that these packages are hurting national producers, there are other options and we want to help people with their basic basket, but at the same time they could empower the business and productive sector of the country, for example coupons, buying national product.
– This also happened in the health system, prioritizing COVID-19 cases and refusing to treat other serious illnesses, do you need a public policy update for you?
All this new reality that we're living in, demand to legislate in favor of the least protected or favored, the most vulnerable, although the pandemic must be addressed, the bad thing was turning the entire health system to this, leaving without medications, without hospital care for HIV patients, Renal insufficiency, Lupus, diabetes, heart attacks, etc., chronic diseases, and this generated deaths. And as I said before, We have been in for a year now and there are still no solutions or a comprehensive response to the problem.
This is because we turned the health system around so that it only cared for the pandemic and we have left all the sick that the system already had unattended., what should we say, it was poor service, but now there are no medications or no facilities available…
-To reach the Legislative Assembly, is aware that it would be opposition, How do you see this panorama?
I believe that reaching the Assembly as a minority is no excuse for not doing anything, on the contrary, one arrives even knowing the conditions to which one enters.
President, for example, he knew that he came to government with an Assembly that did not respond to him, and now what we aspire to reach a seat, Those of us who are not from the Government know that we are going to negotiate, to mediate, to discuss about the proposals, I think what we have to change is the attitude, polarization, the corruption, we have to go discuss the issues, problems and proposals, no particular interests of any actor, and that is not easy, because as we have seen that this government attacks its opponents and certainly intimidates, see a state power using all its muscle to attack the opposition, but he who owes nothing fears nothing.
-There are also institutional attacks on women who actively participate in politics, what does he think about that?
There is the case of Walter Araujo and other acquaintances who make recorded attacks on women, well, in those cases, the corresponding complaints are made, not because they intimidate us individually, but because you have to set the precedent that this is not allowed, why in practice that serves to include women in politics.
– What do you think of demanding a quota for the participation of women in politics?
According to a study, the only party that met and exceeded the gender quota required by law was Nuestro Tiempo. There are parties that are not even meeting the minimum required by the Law for the participation of women, there we see the municipal council of Mario Durán, a shocking photo because there is no woman, as if there were no women capable of occupying those positions of power.
But also those cyber attacks, harassment or trolls come to women with principles, willing to challenge the system, dissonant women, And that is why I think it is important that we not only get more women to the Legislative Assembly, but rather that we reach women willing to challenge the system and work for women, for that diversity and problems.
-Now, What are your proposals to reach the Legislative Assembly for the period 2021-2024?
For this I must emphasize that with my team we have done a strenuous territorial work and I have designed four axes, four priorities, the first is the economy, focusing on the self-employed worker so that they have legal recognition and access to benefits and job creation.
The second issue is access to housing, because the storms and the pandemic reflected a vulnerability and lack of dignity in the housing that people have in the country. So we have to work to encourage the private sector to bet on affordable housing with a social vocation, give credit and access to excluded populations such as women and youth.
While the third topic, It is early childhood and the work of caring for 0 a 5 year old, because it is a child's right and because they are the key ages where they develop the most, but also because care tends to fall on women and working women. So, It is the right of both the mother and the child for the state to get involved and guarantee care. The fourth axis is the dignity of public services.
-Finally, why did you decide to launch your candidacy in the Nuestro Tiempo party?
For me the game was not an alternative, it was the only option, because it is the only party that has moral solvency, its members do not have any accusations of corruption and on the contrary many of its members have a personal record of fighting corruption, for the rule of law and for human rights.