El Salvador electoral tribunal approves Bukele's bid for reelection

Supporters greet El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele after he presented himself as the presidential candidate for the New Ideas Party in San Salvador, El Salvador, Friday, Oct. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)

SAN SALVADOR (AP) — El Salvador’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal on Friday ruled President Nayib Bukele can run for reelection next year, even though the country's Constitution technically prohibits it.

The decision comes one week after the popular Salvadoran president registered to run with the New Ideas party. In a vote Friday, electoral authorities approved Bukele's reelection bid by four votes to none, with one abstention.

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal took to X, formerly Twitter, to confirm Bukele and his vice presidential candidate, Félix Ulloa, meet “the legal requirements” to run in February 2024.

Bukele also celebrated the decision on X writing “Legally registered! And without any votes against."

Officials also voted unanimously in favor of the candidacy of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front — an old-guard leftist party formed of ex-guerillas from El Salvador's civil war.

The FMLN expelled Bukele from its ranks in 2017, a decision he repaid as president by sweeping party officials and their family members from government jobs.

El Salvador’s Constitution prohibits reelection, but in 2021, the country’s Supreme Court of Justice handed down an interpretation of a particular article which enables Bukele to run again. In their ruling they determined the question of reelection was for Salvadorans to decide at the ballot box.

Recent polling indicated a clear and heavy advantage for Bukele as he seeks reelection.

His administration's crackdown on gangs is widely popular as it has significantly curbed crime rates, despite a suspension of some constitutional rights under a state of emergency that has now been in place for more than 1 1/2 years.


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