The re-election of Nayib Bukele as president of El Salvador came as no surprise. This does not mean that his government, which managed to almost eliminate the scourge of insecurity, has been characterized by respect for human rights or the press, or the boost to the country’s economy and education.
His victory, and that of his New Ideas party, has raised a growing question about whether the country is heading toward a stage of absolutism or authoritarianism.
In an anticipated celebration of his victory, on the night of Sunday, February 4, Bukele said that the people spoke at the polls and that for the first time in history in “a democracy” a single party was reached, something similar to paraphrasing that the country is on its way to achieving what some describe as absolutism or authoritarianism.
By definition, absolutism is when in a political regime an authority dominates all manifestations of the power of the State, which it can exercise without limits, that seems to be on its way to consolidating in the Tom Thumb of America when everything seems to revolve around the President of the Republic, Nayib Bukele, after sweeping his rivals at the polls.
“Absolute power is a bad formula for any country,” Katya Salazar, director of the Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF), told the media, giving her views on the elections in El Salvador.
Voters gave carte blanche to the 42-year-old president, a publicist, who won a second term at the helm of the country, although his compatriots must understand that “absolute power is deceptive.”
Checks and balances are needed, Salazar said. “I am worried about what can happen here in El Salvador with a ruler who has excessive powers,” said the international observer during the elections.
On Sunday in Gerardo Barrios Square, during the celebration of his victory and while listing the achievements of his government, the president said: “Wait to see what we are going to achieve in the next five years.”
It will be the anticipation of taking the country to a stage of more authoritarianism, something that differs little from absolutism when power is concentrated around one figure, especially when the opposition is so weakened that it will not be able to stop that development. Bukele’s victory, also overwhelming in the Legislative Assembly, where some estimates say that Nuevas Ideas wins more than 54 seats, confirms the opinions of opponents who believe that the Legislative Branch will become an agency for processing proposals from the Presidential House.
In practice, Bukele has a “carte blanche” to apply a form of government that in the first stage marked his authoritarian style, which did not respect rules established in the Constitution, such as the non-continuity in government, the reduction of municipalities and members of the Assembly in an election year.
Although it is still too early to talk about absolutism or authoritarianism, it is not ruled out that this trend will prevail, especially when figures close to Bukele, such as his vice president Félix Ulloa, do not hide the fact that the so-called representative democracy is not being dismantled, but that it is being eliminated, according to the media. PL
(Translated by Cristina Popa – Email: email@example.com) – Photos: Pixabay