The leader of the right-win ARENA party in the western province of Sonsonate and a member of his family were slain Monday by unknown persons, Salvadoran authorities said.

Vicente Valdivieso and stepson Juan Carlos Melendez were gunned down by several individuals in the La Pradera community of Canton Santa Emilia, a Salvadoran police spokesperson told Efe.

Justice Minister Ricardo Perdomo confirmed the incident and said authorities are hunting for the gunmen while investigating their motives.

The assassination of Valdivieso is the second in recent days against political party activists, following the murder last Friday of Osicala municipality's Mayor Fredy Edilberto Villelas Garcia of the opposition GANA coalition.

Nonetheless, Perdomo dismissed the idea that either case was related "to political matters."

"One thing is the position of the victims and another thing is the motive" of the crimes, Perdomo said.

The Central American country is currently in the midst of its electoral campaign for the presidential balloting in February 2014, when ARENA, which governed El Salvador from 1989-2009, is hoping to return to power after five years of rule by the leftist FMLN.

The daily homicides have diminished in El Salvador from around 14 to six, thanks to a truce among street gangs that began in 2012. EFE