El Salvador’s leader, Nayib Bukele, has officially announced his candidacy for the upcoming election, a decision some argue conflicts with the nation’s constitution.
On Thursday, just before the submission deadline and amidst speculation about his health, Bukele and his Vice President Ulloa confirmed their nomination under their party’s banner.
Bukele previously expressed his re-election ambition, citing significant public approval due to his efforts in boosting the country’s economy and improving safety.
“Our aim is to adapt as needed to further align with the global community, but we’ll always uphold our nation’s sovereignty and autonomy.”
While many of his supporters are rallying behind his bid for another term, detractors contend that his candidacy lacks constitutional legitimacy.
Bukele in constitutional dilemma
The constitution of El Salvador disallows Bukele from running for an additional five-year term, though a court decision in his favor has sparked debates about potential legal breaches.
In 2021, El Salvador’s Supreme Court sanctioned a presidential second term. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal affirmed this ruling and stated it was beyond appeal.
The decision drew significant concern from opposition parties and civil society groups, who labeled Bukele as exhibiting authoritarian tendencies. They went on to describe the upcoming elections as a “mockery.”
Skeptics point out that the judges who greenlit Bukele’s subsequent run were appointed by a legislature dominated by his party, sparking discussions about deviations from standard judicial procedures.
Brian A. Nichols, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, while in El Salvador, emphasized that the electoral decision rests with the Salvadorans themselves.
“The conversation around the election’s legality and authenticity must happen, but it’s fundamentally a discussion for the Salvadoran people. They’ll express their choice at the ballot box, determining their stance on the issue.”
Pro-Bitcoin stance rallies support
In 2019, Nayib Bukele ascended to the presidency after his party, Nueva Ideas, clinched a victory in the general elections. This win disrupted the longstanding dominance of the two major parties: the Nationalist Republican Alliance and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMNLB).
Bukele has been notably pro-Bitcoin (BTC). Under his leadership, El Salvador has exhibited strong enthusiasm for the leading cryptocurrency, marked by significant acquisitions and regulatory endorsements for the entire crypto sector.
The vice president recently lauded the President’s pro-Bitcoin approach as instrumental in the country’s economic resurgence, stating, “This is the fruition of the fiscal strategy set by President Nayib Bukele and implemented by our responsible agencies.”
A survey from the Center for Citizen Studies at Francisco Gavidia University indicates that, in light of Bukele’s efforts to combat violent gangs, Nueva Ideas currently enjoys a 70% approval rating.