It’s Official: The Electoral Campaign For The Presidency of El Salvador Has Already Begun

Yesterday, Tuesday, the electoral campaign for candidates for the Presidency of El Salvador officially began. Among them is the current president Nayib Bukele, who will aspire to be re-elected despite the fact that for some it is unconstitutional .

Photograph of a multi-family building where a mural of the Salvadoran president, Nayib Bukele, can be seen

Photo: EFE/ Rodrigo Sura


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Leer en español: Es oficial: Ya comienza la campaña electoral para la Presidencia de El Salvador

The official electoral campaign period for candidates for the Presidency of El Salvador, including the current president Nayib Bukele, who is seeking re-election despite the accusation that it is unconstitutional, begins this Tuesday and extends until January 2024, according to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE).

There are thirteen political parties that will participate in the 2024 general elections -in which deputies to the Legislative Assembly, the Central American Parliament and members of Municipal Councils will also be elected- of which at least six have defined candidates for the Executive body.

The opposition Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN, left), formerly a guerrilla, is -for the moment- the only party that has presented to the TSE the request of its candidates for the Presidency and Vice Presidency.

Political institutes have until October 26 to send their requests to the collegiate body , so that it can review compliance with the established requirements.

EFE asked representative Anabel Belloso, of the FMLN, if candidates who have not yet submitted their documentation to the TSE can carry out an electoral campaign and pointed out that "in theory there should not be a problem for those who have not yet made the registration request official."

On social networks, the ruling party, Nuevas Ideas (NI), has already started its campaign with the message: 'Mark the N for Nuevas Ideas, vote for Nayib Bukele.'

The TSE does not prohibit the electoral campaign for presidential candidates who have not submitted their application.

"Legally there is no non-compliance, but, according to logic, the ideal would be to have the registration request firm to proceed with campaigning," explained the parliamentarian during a telephone conversation.

For Belloso, who is one of the four deputies from the leftist party in Congress, Nuevas Ideas "will wait until the last moment" to present its request to the TSE.

The current Government in an early campaign

The deputy pointed out that the above "will not be an impediment" for President Bukele to "carry out his campaign", although she assured that "we have seen an advanced campaign by the party that is currently in the Government and the (Electoral) Court has not exercised his authority, according to the mandate he has by law."

"Outside the deadlines established, they (the Government and the president) live in permanent propaganda. The institutional media forms a network of repeaters of the Government's and NI's speech, and they neglect to exercise their institutional function and that is highly condemnable." she asserted.

And she added: "It is not possible for this type of abuse to occur, for it to be visible and the competent authorities, or those who should be regulating that this is not the case, do not say anything and I am talking about the Supreme Electoral Tribunal."

Belloso indicated that he hopes for an electoral contest with "equity" and that "a purposeful campaign" will be developed.

"I believe that our country has gone through so much throughout history that the population deserves that those who aspire to be in decision-making spaces present alternative solutions, in this context where there are serious setbacks in terms of rights," she said.

Read also: El Salvador Presidential Elections 2024: How Possible Is Bukele's Re-election?

"We must aspire to a high-level campaign where lies and hatred are left to those who are liars and hateful," she added.

The Electoral Code establishes that "electoral propaganda will only be allowed four months before the date established by Law for president and vice president, and two months before for deputies and Municipal Councils."

The collegiate body prohibits defamation, slander and slander, and points out that those who "promote or participate in public disorders will be punished in accordance with common laws."

There are more than 5.5 million Salvadorans called to participate in the 2024 general elections, to which are added 685,026 citizens living abroad.

What is particular about these elections is Bukele's participation and his aspiration for re-election, which makes him the first president of the Salvadoran democratic stage with the option of seeking immediate re-election.

In addition to electing the president, in 2024, Salvadorans will elect 44 mayors and municipal councils , instead of 242 after Congress approved a law to reorganize the territorial division of the country, presented and promoted by Bukele.

In addition, they must vote for 60 deputies instead of 84, this also after the approval of a regulation promoted by the Salvadoran president.

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