The decision was delivered late Friday by judges appointed in May by the country’s newly elected Congress – which is dominated by Bukele’s party – after lawmakers removed the magistrate and attorney general of the Supreme Court’s constitutional chamber.
The top court’s decision has drawn condemnation by the US government, rights groups and opposition politicians, who have called the move unconstitutional.
Oscar Ortiz, general secretary of the Farabundo Marti Front for National Liberation and former vice president of El Salvador, reacted to the decision on Friday, writing in a tweet: “The dictatorship is over.”
Bukele has yet to respond to the court’s decision. CNN has requested comment.
Since coming to power in 2019, the charismatic youth leader has vowed to reform Salvadoran politics and tackle corruption. But critics have accused the 40-year-old of authoritarian tendencies.
“Democracy in El Salvador is at the edge of the abyss,” Jose Miguel Vivanco, executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Americas division, wrote on Twitter on Sunday.