El Salvador’s Bukele keeps mum on re-election bid

San Salvador, Jun 1 (EFE).- Nayib Bukele came to the end Wednesday of the third year of his five-year mandate as president of El Salvador with a sky-high approval rating, but remains silent on whether he will take advantage of a court ruling that struck down the prohibition on a head of state’s serving consecutive terms.

Last September, judges named to the Constitutional Court by Bukele’s allies in Congress overturned the requirement that a president who has had a full five-year term must wait 10 years before making another run for the highest office.

Bukele has remained silent on his plans, though members of his administration have publicly urged him to stand for re-election.

But while poll results released Wednesday showed that nearly 87 percent of Salvadorans approve of the flamboyant rightist’s job performance, protests against Bukele’s policies have brought thousands of people onto the streets.

Around 100 labor union activists gathered Wednesday in San Salvador to express their distaste for the incumbent.

“Not one more day of the Bukele dictatorship” was the slogan on one of the signs.

Bukele starts his fourth year in power amid accusations that his government has engaged in duplicity in its approach to El Salvador’s powerful gangs and following a collapse in the value of cryptocurrencies that has cast doubt on his embrace of bitcoin.

LPG Datos, the polling arm of La Prensa Grafica newspaper, said that 86.8 percent of the 1,448 people interviewed during the period May 18-25 expressed support for the president.

The daily attributed Bukele’s popularity to public assistance programs, perceptions that he managed the Covid-19 pandemic well, and the mass arrests accompanying the state of emergency he proclaimed in March after a spate of murders.

Yet according to the president’s critics, that eruption of violence – 87 homicides in a weekend – was itself the consequence of the breakdown of a secret truce between Bukele’s government and the gangs.

Over the course of about nine months, the Salvadoran government spent more than $100 million to acquire 2,301 bitcoin only to see the value of most cryptocurrencies plummet a few weeks ago.


Related Articles

Back to top button