Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

Presidential election in El Salvador: the presidential election Bukele election expected from the first round

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A woman votes during the presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday in San Salvador.

Agence France-Presse

Called to the polls on Sunday, Salvadorans should renew their confidence from the first round in Nayib Bukele, the outgoing president, whom they praise for his war against criminal gangs. He would thus confirm the majority of his party in Parliament.

Elected for the first time in 2019, when he defeated the two parties in power [Arena, on the right, and the FMLN, heir to the Marxist guerrillas] since the end of the civil war in El Salvador (1979-1992), Mr. Bukele has enjoyed unparalleled popularity with 90% favorable opinions, according to Latinbarometro.

For its part, the opposition is in tatters. Its five candidates do not reach 5% support in the latest polls.

Among the 6,214,399 registered voters, including 741,094 are abroad, mainly in the United States. Marco Antonio Campos was delighted as he left a polling station in San Salvador to feel more security. The difference is seen everywhere, even just walking in the streets, he told AFP.

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Security teams carry out checks at the entrance to polling stations in San Salvador.< /p>

Salvadorans praise Nayib Bukele's war on gangs, which has put 75,000 criminals behind bars [around 7,000 unjustly detained have been released] under a state of emergency that has been ongoing since March 2022. The state of emergency allows warrantless arrests and the deployment of the army on the streets.

The homicide rate was reduced to 2.4 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2023. In 2019, it was 87 per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the highest in the world outside of periods of conflict. The extortion on which local criminal gangs, the maras, lived, has disappeared.

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Murders by the MS-13 and Barrio 18 gangs fell from more than 800 in 2019 to 57 last year, according to the NGO Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED).

He cleaned [the country] of gangs and delinquency, which no one dared to imagine, Claudia De Velasco explains to AFP , a 72-year-old retired architect.

Mr. Bukele prides himself on having made El Salvador the safest country in the world.

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The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele.

Accused of authoritarianism, Nayib Bukele, 42, did not call for a vote for him but for the deputies of his party, Nuevas Ideas, to confirm the majority he has in the Assembly after the reduction in the number of parliamentarians from 84 to 60.

We have already defeated bipartisanship, we already have governance. Now let's make this path irreversible and show the world that Salvadorans support this project, he said in a video published before the vote on social networks, where he has 5.8 million subscribers only on the network #x27;Central American University (UCA).

Nayib Bukele, the former mayor of San Salvador (2015-2018) who entered politics in 2012, readily calls himself a cool dictator > to deride his detractors who accuse him of having assumed all the powers. He replaced the Supreme Court judges and the attorney general of El Salvador, thus managing to circumvent the Constitution, which only allows one presidential term, by being granted a six-month leave before the vote .

The state of emergency in progress for 22 months and the construction of a high-security megaprison with very strict detention conditions is taking place. x27;accompanied by allegations of widespread human rights violations.

Certainly, security has improved. I hope that this will continue and also that the economic situation will improve, notes Santos de Martinez, a 66-year-old housewife, after voting in the La Campanera district (north-east of San Salvador), once a stronghold of Barrio 18.

After security, we We are now concerned about the cost of living. This is the big challenge.

A quote from Carlos Acevedo, former president of the Central Bank

Many Salvadorans continue to x27;emigrate to the United States in search of work, fleeing poverty which affects 29% of the population.

Indeed , the economic situation in El Salvador, with high public debt and public investment in bitcoin as the official currency alongside the dollar considered a failure, worries Isabel Arguetta, 20 years old: In addition to security, young people expect better opportunities.

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