Meet Nayib Bukele, new president of El Salvador

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Nayib Bukele will assume the presidency next June, thanks to the imminent support of the Salvadorans

Meet Nayib Bukele, new president of El Salvador

El Salvador has a new president: Nayib Bukele, former mayor of San Salvador. He is 37 years old and has broken with the bipartisan tradition of electing a president from among the political parties Frente Farabundo Martí para Liberacion Nacional (FMLN, in Spanish) and the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA, in Spanish).

Leer en español: Conozca a Nayib Bukele, nuevo presidente de El Salvador

From the first surveys, he was outlined as the favorite, reaching an intention to vote of 40.5% according to the Technological University. The result was seen on the day of the elections, as the president-elect obtained 53%, with 1,388,009 votes, thus surpassing by 88,009 votes the threshold needed to avoid a second round. The second place was obtained by the candidate Carlos Calleja for the ARENA party, with 31.6% of the votes.

Bukele is of Muslim origin, is a publicist, and according to El País, "with a reputation as an effective manager and specialist in social networks." During his speech he said: "We have made history and we have passed the post-war page (…) we won in the first round and we added more votes than Arena and the FMLN together".

The arrival to the presidency refreshes the charge, because the last 3 presidents of El Salvador have been accused of corruption. Similarly, Bukele is usually recognized as the man of the three NOs: "he does not have an ideology, he does not have a party and he does not have a clear government team, because it is still unknown who will be part of his presidential cabinet", as stated by the same medium.

What does Nayib Bukele propose?

Among his main proposals is the creation of an international commission that fights against corruption, as well as the commitment to the country's infrastructure to try to stop the massive exodus of Salvadorans to the United States. However, the president-elect has an investigation into alleged illicit enrichment, falsehood, and tax evasion in 2018.

In spite of the above, both the Supreme Court of Justice and the Attorney General of the Republic have not provided new information in the case, and Bukele said that all the accounts had been clarified and that he did not find any indication of the charges he was facing.

On the other hand, other of the great challenges that the new president will have to overcome in order for his bills and proposals to be approved in Congress, is that the party to which he belongs only has the opposition in Congress, since his party only has 11 of the 84 possible seats.

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Insecurity and the economy

Two of the main concerns of Salvadorans is insecurity due to the violence generated by the gangs, since according to Semanario Universidad, in 2018 there were 3,340 homicides, despite the fact that the rate fell by 15%, the country is among the most countries more violent without war in the world.

On the other hand, the dollarized economy, which is a process in which a country uses a foreign currency in the different activities that its inhabitants perform and that need the use of money and as defined by the Bank of the Colombian Republic, worries the Salvadorans. Since 2018, it has presented "the highest figure of the last 5 years, it grew by 2.6%", according to the same media.

Is he the Trump of Latin America?

For José Miguel Cruz, professor at the International University of Florida (FIU) in dialogue with the BBC, in terms of the way "how he builds his image and how he manages to impose himself on traditional political forces through social media." However, Bukele's attitudes are very polarized, and he stands out for giving very critical answers to those who criticize him and makes use of his social networks to attack his adversaries.

The arrival of Bukele to the presidency of the country, responds to the wave of new types of leaders, elected by a people that is tired of a traditional government full of scandals of corruption and mistakes in the way of governing.


LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara
Translated from "Conozca a Nayib Bukele, nuevo presidente de El Salvador"

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