Bukele Asks for Leave of Absence to Seek Reelection

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By LatAm Reports Editor

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele announced his intention to request a formal leave of absence from Congress to pursue his reelection campaign for the forthcoming 2024 presidential election. This decision follows the country’s electoral tribunal’s earlier approval of Bukele’s candidacy.

During a televised address, President Bukele expressed his desire to focus entirely on his reelection campaign. However, he did not specify who would serve as the acting president during his leave. This announcement has sparked debate, with some critics raising concerns about the constitutional legality of his decision to seek a second consecutive term. Despite these concerns, El Salvador’s supreme court, whose judges were appointed by a Congress predominantly aligned with Bukele’s New Ideas party, ruled in 2021 that he is eligible to run again.

President Bukele’s bid for reelection appears to be on firm footing, bolstered by high approval ratings. A significant factor contributing to his popularity is the success of his aggressive anti-gang policies. Implemented over the past year, these policies have significantly reduced violent crime rates in El Salvador but have also faced criticism for encroaching upon constitutional rights. The recent poll data suggests that Bukele is well-positioned to secure a comfortable victory in the 2024 elections, given his current public support.