El Salvador holds legislative assembly elections

El Salvador will today hold elections for the Legislative Assembly. Recent Salvadorian politics has been characterised by tensions between President

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Photo: Salvador Melendez/AP Photo

El Salvador will today hold elections for the Legislative Assembly.

Recent Salvadorian politics has been characterised by tensions between President Nayib Bukele and the other branches of government. Last year, Bukele stormed into the Assembly headquarters with soldiers to pressure lawmakers to pass a law amid confrontations over the constitutional power to reopen the economy.

Elections will take place amid violence and accusations of possible fraud promoted by Bukele. According to opinion polls, 72.2% of Salvadoreans plan on voting for Bukele’s two-year-old New Ideas party and its ally GANA, which would almost certainly grant them a qualified majority.

With a weak opposition and Bukele’s growing popularity, New Ideas may win the seats needed to let Bukele appoint the next attorney general and five new justices to the Supreme Court, a key government body that has been at odds with Bukele. Expect the president to consolidate his power and rule without any significant counterweights. However, the US may condemn Bukele’s abuses of power with a new policy direction, defined by President Joe Biden’s $4 billion plan for Central America. The plan seeks to reduce the flow of migrants to the US border through the strengthening of regional economies, institutions, and democratic and security norms, including the “Engel list”, which will provoke bilateral tensions.

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