“God wanted” to heal El Salvador and the citizens decided to “continue the path we are on in full freedom and full democracy.”
This is how Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele has interpreted the results – still provisional – of the elections held this Sunday in the country.
In a speech of almost 29 minutes and before thousands of his followers, Bukele made strong reproaches to the special envoys of the foreign media, especially from Spain, and also assured, in reference to international organizations and governments of other countries, that “they also want that they impose themselves on being atheists.”
“God wanted to heal our country and he healed it,” he said and continued: “Let us give the glory (to God) if we want. How does it affect them, how does it bother them?
Bukele assured that “thanks to God and thanks to this noble and united people, you have seen how El Salvador went from being the most insecure” and “now, in these next five years, wait to see what we are going to do, because we will continue doing the impossible and we will continue to show the world the example of El Salvador,” he concluded.
He proclaims himself the winner
Before the first official scrutiny data was known, which took four and a half hours to arrive, Bukele celebrated his victory and began receiving congratulations from the foreign ministries of neighboring countries.
“According to our numbers, we have won the presidential election with more than 85% of the votes and a minimum of 58 of the 60 deputies of the Assembly,” the president published on the social network X about two hours after his offices closed. voting center doors.
The president proclaimed himself the winner of the elections, a process that he equated with a sort of unofficial “referendum” on his mandate.
A few hours later the first congratulations would arrive to the president. Panama, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador and Peru were the first countries to recognize Bukele’s victory.
Subsequently, after a ten-hour electoral day that passed without serious incidents, although with complaints of irregularities by the right-wing opposition, Bukele decided to hold a press conference while the slow recount of the votes began, the results of which are in charge of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE).
Bukele breaks the electoral silence
Bukele broke the electoral silence by appearing before the press in a hotel in the Salvadoran capital, to ask the population to vote for his re-election and for the maintenance of the absolute majority in Congress, and thus be able to continue his “war against gangs.” ”.
An exceptional regime, approved in March 2022 and extended 22 times by Congress, which became Bukele’s main bet to be re-elected.
“These elections, not officially, but they are a referendum on what we are doing in El Salvador,” said the president, who added: “We are not replacing democracy, we are bringing democracy to El Salvador.”
Controversy over the legality of the candidacy
The elections took place amid controversy over the legality of Bukele’s candidacy. There are at least six constitutional provisions, according to jurists and experts consulted by EFE, that prohibit immediate re-election.
However, the Salvadoran ruling party relied on an order issued by the Constitutional Chamber, composed in part of former advisors to the Bukele Government and former lawyers of senior officials,
However, the Salvadoran ruling party relied on an order issued by the Constitutional Chamber, made up in part of former advisors to the Bukele Government and former lawyers of senior officials.
Faced with accusations of authoritarianism, Bukele denied this Sunday that El Salvador urges a constitutional reform that contemplates indefinite reelection.
“I think that constitutional reform is not necessary” and “no, I don’t think it should include it” (indefinite reelection), he maintained.
A day between accusations and attacks on the press
“Anomalies” in the elections in El Salvador
Halfway through the elections, representatives of the opposition parties Nationalist Republican Alliance (Arena, right) and Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN, left) denounced “anomalies” in the integration of the vote receiving boards.
For its part, the Association of Journalists of El Salvador (APES) reported at least 110 attacks on the press, a figure even higher than that registered in a single year by this union.
At the close of official voting hours, Bukele complained that numerous Salvadorans living abroad were unable to vote because the polling stations were closed, despite the fact that numerous people were waiting in lines.
Without a statement from the electoral body
The electoral body has not commented on the advance of the data released by Bukele or the conference that the president gave in the midst of the electoral silence.
If the data from the preliminary scrutiny are confirmed, Bukele will become the first president of El Salvador to be re-elected despite the constitutional prohibition, since the country left a military dictatorship of several decades and entered democracy.
BY: Muhammad Attzaz Khan