Nayib Bukele: will his scandals affect his presidency?

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Salvadorean president-elect already had his first scandal and will be taken to trial

Nayib Bukele: will his scandals affect his presidency?

Nayib Bukele broke paradigms on February 3, when the presidential elections were held in El Salvador. Bukele, 37, broke with the bipartisanship that reigned in that country and emerged as the salvation before a country plunged into corruption, insecurity, and poverty.

Leer en español: Nayib Bukele: ¿sus escándalos podrán afectarlo?

The support of Salvadorans was essential because it was not necessary to go to the second round to ratify their favoritism. Just in the first round, he surpassed the necessary threshold to secure himself as the new president, since he obtained 1,388,009 votes.

However, and despite the fact that the past three presidents have had corruption scandals, Bukele does not seem to be completely clean. In 2018, the president-elect was accused of illicit enrichment, falsehood of matter and tax evasion. Even if the case has not progressed, the Supreme Court of Justice has not updated it, and Bukele has already presented evidence showing that all his paperwork is in order. The truth is that it does not seem to affect much either his candidacy or his position as president.

You may be interested in reading: The proposals and economic challenges of Nayib Bukele

During this week Bukele was sent to trial for expressions of violence against women. According to El Mundo, the Specialized Court for the Instruction of Women made the decision, because the síndica (the person chosen by a community or corporation to take care of their interests), Xochilt Marchelli, in 2017 denounced mistreatment on the part of the then mayor of San Salvador.

According to Marchelli, the verbal assault occurred on September 6, when a Council of the City Hall was held, "when Bukele closed the session, he got up from his seat, but realizing that he could not end the encounter, he returned to his chair and there the mistreatment occurred," as El Salvador explains.

At that moment, Bukele told Marchelli to "go cry to the municipal office (of the FMLN), ask them to be the candidate (as a mayor) (…) he said to me you are a damn traitor, witch, and threw me an apple," explained the síndica in an interview with the Gentevé channel in 2017.

Two years later, Bukele was sent to trial and, if found guilty, the sentence will not affect his performance as president-elect. This happens because the crime "is contemplated in Article 55 of the Special Comprehensive Law for a Life Free of Violence for Women (LEIV) and does not receive a criminal conviction but is sanctioned with 25 minimum wages of trade and service ", as El Mundo affirms.

Will his scandals affect him?

Beyond the Court's lack of progress in the case and its economic sanction against the mistreatment of Marchelli, Bukele is shaping up like a president who is willing to recover a country that has been plagued with poverty, corruption, migration, among others. Their scandals will not go unnoticed, even more for the opposition, but the real challenge that can affect his government is that he does not achieve a governance in the Legislative Assembly (his party only has 11 of the 84 possible seats), nor specify a tax agreement, nor improve security, nor above all choose a capable cabinet, as stated by the same media.

However, it is also necessary that Bukele rules from the presidential office and not from social networks. Since he won the elections, Bukele has maintained an attitude of war "with unproven accusations against the current administration", as stated by Prensa Latina. In the same way and regarding this aspect, it has already been found a certain similarity with the US president, Donald Trump.

The truth is that what can really affect his performance as president is the form of his governability and his attitude towards the opposition, beyond his scandals.

LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz

Translated from "Nayib Bukele: ¿sus escándalos podrán afectarlo?"

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