Salem Radio Network News Monday, September 26, 2022

World

Despite prohibition, El Salvador President Bukele says he will seek re-election

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) – El Salvador President Nayib Bukele said Thursday he would run for re-election, despite the country’s constitution prohibiting presidents from having consecutive terms.

“I’m announcing to the Salvadoran people that I’ve decided to run as a candidate for president of the republic,” Bukele said in an Independence Day speech livestreamed on public television and social media.

Bukele’s current term is set to end in 2024.

Although the constituion forbids a president from being re-elected immediately after a term in office, the Supreme Court, composed of judges appointed by lawmakers of Bukele’s party, ruled in 2021 that a second consecutive term was permissible.

That move was slammed by the United States and drew fears of a return to authoritarianism in the Latin American country.

“Developed countries have re-election,” Bukele said on Thursday. “And thanks to the new configuration of the democratic institution of our country, now El Salvador will too.”

Bukele, who took office in 2019, has cracked down on gangs in recent months using emergency powers that the Congress on Wednesday extended for a sixth time.

Critics say many innocent people have been arrested without cause. In May, police sources told Reuters they had been forced to meet daily arrest quotas.

“Some in the international community … they criticize the capture of gang members, as if they wanted us to be doing badly again,” Bukele said Thursday. “This is the only way for El Salvador. We already proved it; this is not a campaign promise.”

(Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Additional reporting by Sarah Morland; Writing by Kylie Madry; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Bradley Perrett)

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