El Salvador repeals the ban on changing electoral rules one year before the elections

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SAN SALVADOR – Without a prior study, the Congress of El Salvador approved on Wednesday, March 15, to repeal article 291-A of the Electoral Code, which prohibits electoral changes or reforms one year before the elections.

“One year before any type of election is held, no modification to the rules governing the electoral process will be allowed, except those that are strictly necessary to carry out some aspect of the election,” the repealed article quoted.

The deadline to make changes in electoral matters expired on February 4 of this year, as El Salvador is preparing to elect a new Congress and a new presidency in February and March 2024.

However, with the repeal of the article, Congress opens the possibility to change, for example, the administrative division in El Salvador, such as reducing the number of municipalities and deputies, an issue that the ruling party of that country has already been proposing.

On February 20, the president of the Salvadoran Congress, Ernesto Castro, said that the pro-government party Nuevas Ideas was evaluating a proposal to reduce the number of legislators from 84 to 64 and the municipalities from 262 to 50.

Likewise, one of the considerations that the 67 of the 84 deputies who approved the repeal is that now “it will be possible to incorporate into the Electoral Code and other related laws the approval of the electoral norms demanded by both citizens residing in the national territory and those who It is found in various countries of the world…”.

Claudia Ortíz, one of the deputies who voted against the repeal, said on her Twitter account that what was approved by Congress allows the rules of the electoral process to be changed “even one day before the elections”, and sentenced: “they have become into players who can change the rules.”

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