Without a doubt, re-election is a thorny issue for El Salvador’s next elections, with the current president intent on return to office. But that decision is in the hands of the people, and will be decided when they go to the polls in 2024.
The fact is that President Nayib Bukele’s plan for re-election is a controversial topic at political gatherings, with some deeming it unconstitutional and others as his right.
Analysis by various analysts published in the newspaper Diario El Salvador states that a resolution issued by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice, allowing the president to run for a second term, does not automatically give Bukele the right to remain in office.
But according to opponents and distinguished jurists in the country, this is not the case. The issue is the Bukele cannot run for a second consecutive term, a fact established by the 1983 Constitution and inherited from previous charters.
For former MP and political analyst Mélida Villatoro, the final decision over re-election is solely a matter for the Salvadoran people, who will go to the polls on 4 February 2024.
It is the people, not the law, who will decide on re-election, she explains.
Even if the candidacy is illegal, it is the sovereign, the people who must take the lead on the matter – an idea that is even supported by some members of government on the other side of the aisle.
Villatoro believes that if the political opposition – represented by traditional parties, spokespersons and sympathetic media – is broadcasting messages about the potential unconstitutionality of the re-election process, it is because it is concerned by the level of support for the Salvadoran president, which could forecast victory for him.
Analysts have pointed out that there are precedents of other candidates seeking re-election. They, however, were not backed by the population at the ballot box. Bukele’s decision is currently supported by 94 per cent of the citizens consulted, according to a poll.
There is no doubt that his speeches stir up support, both at home and abroad, showing his proficiency as a communicator. PL
(Translated by Rebecca Ndhlovu – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) – Photos: Pixabay