The New Ideas Party formalized on Sunday the candidacy of Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele for the February 2024 elections, despite the fact that constitutional lawyers and opposition politicians assure that the magna carta prohibits re-election in the country.
“I announce to the country that our president Nayib Bukele has officially been chosen as the candidate for the presidency of the Nuevas Ideas party to participate in the 2024 elections,” said the party’s president, Xavi Zablah, at the conclusion of the internal elections of the ruling party, in which also made the candidacy of Vice President Félix Ulloa official.
Bukele took to Twitter to ratify the announcement and summon his supporters to the polls.
“The (George) Soros media say that Salvadorans cannot decide for themselves. But today the largest party in the history of our country spoke and on February 4, 2024 the Salvadoran people will have the last word. Democracy is written from the bottom up,” he said.
Ulloa recently stated that once Bukele’s candidacy is made official, the president would have the obligation to request permission from Congress to be absent from office before December 1, six months before the start of the presidential term in El Salvador.
In turn, Congress would also find it necessary to choose the person who would occupy the position during Bukele’s leave.
Bukele announced that he would seek re-election in September 2022, one year after the decision of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice, appointed by his allies in Congress.
The constitution prohibits presidential re-election, but in its resolution, the Chamber interpreted that an article of the magna carta allows the participation of the president in the electoral contest for a second time and that it will be the people who make the decision at the polls.
The Chamber also ordered the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to comply with the resolution. Almost immediately, the court stated that it would abide by that provision.
The independent criminal lawyer Tahnya Pastor acknowledged that re-election was prohibited, but “now the Chamber has endorsed it. What some do not want to understand, if the Constitution says so, it is true, but there is an authorization via the Chamber and that is an issue that has been overcome and now There is no discussion about it.”
He added that the only thing that could prevent Bukele from running is that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal considers the resolution inapplicable, but explained that the final decision would remain in the hands of the same Chamber, which already authorized the candidacy.
Other parties that have also presented pre-candidates so far are the conservative Nuestro Tiempo, which leads the military and lawyer Luis Parada in the formula with Celia Medrano. Meanwhile, the leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front reported that the pre-candidates Manuel Flores and Werner Marroquín for president and vice president have already registered.
The right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (Arena) presented its presidential candidate, the Salvadoran-American businessman Joel Sánchez and the Salvadoran businesswoman Hilcia Bonilla, who lives in the United States.
“I am going to respect private property, free enterprise, the free market and cultural values, but above all the freedom of people. I promise to be a transparent government, ”said Sánchez once he was made official as a candidate for Arena.
Sánchez affirmed that this is the first time that the Salvadoran diaspora has the opportunity to directly participate in the elections. “Now if we have real representation, we are the diaspora coming to El Salvador through civil society representing the political parties.”
Bukele, who became president on June 1, 2019 and maintains a high level of popularity above 80%, has already received the support of his allied parties in Congress.
Bukele’s acceptance levels increased with the application of the state of emergency to combat gangs.
According to the most recent survey of the Institute of Public Opinion (IUDOP) of the José Simeón Cañas Catholic University (UCA), Bukele is well evaluated, since 70.8% consider that it is doing things well, 72.6% believe that the president’s image has improved, 97.7% think that violence has decreased and 81.8% that the emergency regime has helped a lot to control crime.
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