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Photo: @NayibBukele (Twitter/X)

El Salvador   

El Salvador   

Bukele claims landslide victory in presidential election despite delayed official results

Marina Vanni,  February 5, 2024

On Monday, February 5, after Salvador’s presidential election, the Supreme Electoral Court announced a delay in the release of official results, despite current President Nayib Bukele declaring a victory that he claimed surpassed 85% of the vote.

The court attributed the delay to issues with the electronic transmission of results, prompting the manual recording of votes from polling stations nationwide. The decision was justified under the country’s electoral code, citing actions that impeded the transmission of primary results.

Bukele, 42, had initially declared his triumph on X/Twitter before official numbers were announced, stating that his New Ideas Party had secured over 1.3 million votes, a considerable lead over his closest competitor, left-wing candidate Farabundo Marti (National Liberation Front).

The president’s anticipated victory was largely expected given his high favorability ratings, according to various polls. Bukele’s supporters applaud his tough stance on criminal gangs, which has led to a significant drop in the murder rate. Since the state of emergency was implemented in early 2022, more than 70.000 gang members and suspects have been captured.

However, this success has not come without controversy. Human rights groups accuse his administration of mass arrests, detaining innocent individuals, and subjecting prisoners to inhumane conditions.

The potential for a landslide victory raises concerns about the concentration of power and the leader’s inclination towards autocratic rule. Bukele had even called himself "the world’s coolest dictator" in the past. His ability to run for a second term itself underscores an effort to bypass constitutional limitations, with the country’s Congress reshaping the Supreme Court to grant him the necessary authority to run for re-election.

Author: Marina Vanni


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