El Salvador’s top court paves way for presidential re-election

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.”

US charge d’affairs Jean Manes Allowing immediate re-election is “contrary to the Constitution of Salvador”, which he shared on Twitter, he said in comments to reporters at the US embassy in the capital San Salvador on Saturday.

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.

In February 2020, Bukele sent armed forces joined Congress as he demanded that lawmakers approve his plan to secure a $109 million loan to tackle mass violence. This June, he pulled El Salvador out of a US-backed anti-corruption deal.

“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.

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In May, Vivanco wrote an opinion piece for Washington Post The reshuffle followed the country’s top court, warning that Bukele’s efforts to concentrate political power could lead El Salvador down the same path as in other Central American countries where judicial independence is at risk, such as Nicaragua and Honduras. .
But Bukele backed away from the criticisms. Even in May he tweeted a message He addressed friends of the international community: “With all due respect: we are cleaning our house … and it’s none of your business,” he wrote.


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