El Salvador enters a state of uncertainty following the unconstitutional reelection of President Nayib Bukele 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 5, 2024 
CONTACT: 
Yanci Nuñez | [email protected] (312) 866-0312

 

 

Chicago, IL  —  This past Sunday, February 4th, the people of El Salvadorans, living inside and outside the country, were summoned to participate in presidential and legislative elections. The current president mounted a reelection campaign in violation of El Salvador’s constitution, which prohibits the president from holding consecutive terms. A few hours after the polls closed, and before the official results were release, current President Nayib Bukele declared his own victory and that of his party, Nuevas Ideas, in the Salvadoran Congress. In light of this series of events, Alianza Americas’ executive director, Oscar Chacón, issued the following statement:

 

“The future wellbeing of Salvadoran people is uncertain following the results of the elections that took place this past Sunday, February 4th. The President’s campaign to promote the idea that the person who was elected president of the Republic in February 2019, could and should seek reelection, made it possible to justify the violation of the Constitution, which clearly prohibits consecutive  reelection. Since he took office as President, Mr. Bukele’s powerful allies have taken control of nearly all of the institutions of the state. The Congress (Legislative Assembly), the Judiciary (Constitutional Chamber), the Attorney General’s Office, as well as the Supreme the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. This consolidation of power is worrisome for a healthy democracy, more so given that the municipal elections on March 3rd will likely result in absolute control of the State apparatus by Nuevas Ideas, the official party.

 

El Salvador has suffered from high levels of violence in recent decades, making the promise of eliminating violence a popular one. It is fair and necessary for social development to reduce violent threats in all their expressions. Unfortunately, the neutralization of gang violence has been successfully exploited to gain blind public support for the current government. 

 

El Salvador faces a host of serious challenges, reaching far beyond gang violence.  The country suffers from an alarmingly low level of social welfare (education, health, and housing), while also failing to build a robust economy that could offer decent jobs with living wages for the majority of the population. Inadequate tax laws reduce the ability of the state to provide basic public services, and mire the country in debt, sacrificing national sovereignty as a mechanism to support public finances. Weak laws and systems undermine transparent management and accountability in the use of public resources. Despite short-term reductions in violent crime, little has been done to replace the culture of violence that El Salvador has lived with for most of its history, with a firm culture of peace.

 

Notwithstanding the unconstitutional nature of the reelection of current president Nayib Bukele, nor ignoring the fact that the official publicity machine has managed to mobilize the majority of Salvadoran voters to vote for him, the fact remains that Nuevas Ideas now holds the responsibility to offer responsible solutions to the most cherished dreams of the people of El Salvador. Up to now, its strategy has centered on mobilizing fear.  Moving forward, the current ruling party should be judged by how well it can put in place concrete public policy measures that transform El Salvador into a truly prosperous and democratic country that guarantees the welfare of all Salvadorans.”

 

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Alianza Americas is the premier transnational advocacy network of Latin American migrant-led organizations working in the United States, across the Americas, and globally to create an inclusive, equitable and sustainable way of life for communities across North, Central and South America.

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