Bukele from El Salvador gets green light to run for re-election
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San Salvador (AFP)
El Salvador’s highest court said on Friday that populist President Nayib Bukele would be allowed to run for a second term, despite the country’s constitution prohibiting the head of state from serving two consecutive terms.
The Supreme Court ruling will see Bukele running for a second term in 2024, potentially making him the first president of the Central American nation to serve more than five years in office since the 1950s.
In its ruling, the court said that a sitting head of state could stand for a second term as long as he had not “been president in the immediately preceding period.”
The ruling was handed down by judges appointed to El Salvador’s highest court by Bukele in May after the country’s parliament removed several judges critical of the government – a move criticized by critics as a “coup d’etat”. State “and which has triggered international condemnation.
The new judges then overturned a previous decision of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court which had ruled that the president could not serve more than one consecutive term. However, this decision allowed the head of state to stand for re-election in a subsequent election.
Elected in 2019, Bukele enjoys wide support in El Salvador for his promises to fight organized crime and improve security in this country ravaged by violence.
Its allies also hold a large majority in the country’s Congress – a situation not seen since a peace deal in 1992 ended 12 years of bloody civil war.
But he has long been accused of authoritarian tendencies.
Last year, Bukele sent troops to the country’s parliament in an attempt to pressure lawmakers.
© 2021 AFP