Bukele wins supermajority in congress

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By LatAm Reports Editor

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) on Monday formalized the results of the election of deputies from the Legislative Assembly, in which the ruling party New Ideas won 54 of the 60 seats available, surpassing the supermajority of the 2024-2027 legislature.

Nearly two weeks after the February 4, 2024 elections, the judges of the TSE gave the results on a national radio and television network that was pre-recorded, in which access to the press was not allowed.

In that chain, the president of the TSE, Dora Martínez de Barahona, read the official results of the TSE, with 100 percent of minutes scrutinized at the national and abroad, granting more than 2.2 million votes to New Ideas.

“We affirm that each vote has been counted transparently in full attachment to the will of the Salvadoran people expressed in the polls,” Martinez de Barahona said during the chain.

The president of the TSE referred to the opening of electoral packages that took place in the facilities of the National Gymnasium “Adolfo Pineda” in which 300 working tables were installed in which 300 working tables were installed in which and said that the opening of surveillance of all political parties was facilitated.

“The Collegiate Agency decided to carry out the final scrutiny of the detailed manner by opening the electoral packages of all Vote Receiving Boards at the national level. Our commitment has been to carry out this process with absolute transparency and efficiency,” said the judge.

A report prepared by LPG Data with the official figures of the TSE, reveals that the collegiate body counted a total of 3,118,537 valid votes, of which 2,200.332 are for New Ideas.

This figure is equivalent to 71 per cent of the valid votes; however, they are 14 points less than those obtained in the presidential election, in which the President of the Republic, Nayib Bukele, was re-elected with 85 per cent of the votes.

With this number of votes, the ruling party won 90 per cent of congressional seats. New Ideas will have 54 of the 60 deputies in the 2024-2027 legislature, allowing the government to have support to make decisions by a simple majority (31 votes), a qualified majority (40) and super majority (45).

This number of deputies will allow the government to pass laws without consultation of other parliamentary groups, as well as authorize loans, endorse reforms to the Constitution of the Republic and elect judges of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), Attorney General, Human Rights Procurator, members of the Court of Auditors, Attorney General and members of the National Council of the Judiciary (CNJ).

Other parties allied to the government achieved legislative representation of three deputies: the National Conciliation Party (PCN), which won two deputies with 101,641 votes (3.3 percent); and the Christian Democratic Party (PDC), which reached a single seat with a total of 93,108 votes (3.0 per cent).

While there will be only three opposition voices in the Assembly: Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) that won two seats with 227,357 votes (7.3 percent) and Vamos, who retains his only deputy in the Assembly, with 91,675 votes (2.9 per cent).

The Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN), which five years ago ruled the country, was left without legislative representation for the first time since 1994, despite the fact that it obtained a total of 195,920 votes, equivalent to 6.3 per cent of the total.

The Grand Alliance for National Unity (GANA) party, which allowed Bukele to become president in 2019, will also be outside the Legislative Assembly, and from which he left before running for re-election in New Ideas. GANA won a total of 99,344 votes, or 3.2 per cent.

During this election, the TSE implemented the electoral reforms approved by the Assembly in control of the government to cut the number of deputies from 84 to 60, and to change the formula for the allocation of seats of the traditional Hare, to the D.Hondt, which reduces the pluralism of political parties.

Outgoing MPs

According to the results tabulated by the TSE, there are deputies from New Ideas who will not be able to continue in the Legislative Assembly. This is the case of the deputy for San Salvador, Leonel Uceda; the deputy for La Libertad, Sandra Yanira Martínez, the deputy for San Miguel, Suni Cedillos; the deputy for Ahuachapán, Luis Figueroa; and Chalatenango Alexander Guardado.

Other allies of the ruling party that will leave the Assembly are the deputies Numan Salgado (San Miguel), Juan Carlos Mendoza (Santa Ana); Guillermo Gallegos (San Salvador), of GANA; and Romeo Auerbach (La Libertad), who recently published on his social networks that the GANA party left without giving further explanations about his decision.

Among the opponents who will also leave office are the four FMLN deputies, Anabel Belloso (San Salvador), Dina Argueta (San Miguel), Jaime Guevara (Morazán) and Marleni Funes (Usulután), who aspired to re-election. Deputies Silvia Ostorga (Sonsonate) and Rosy Romero (La Paz) of ARENA were also left out.

The current legislature will be the first, since the signing of the Peace Accords, that the leftist party will not have representatives in the Legislative Assembly.

Solidarity force reached the 50,000 votes required

The political party Fuerza Solidaria managed to survive during the 2024 legislative election, after obtaining a total of 51,021 valid votes, according to the consolidated one released by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. Of this amount, 50,618 votes were received on national territory, while 205 were per vote from abroad on the Internet and 198 votes from the remote face-to-face outside.

Article 47, paragraph C, of the Political Parties Act provides that when a political party involved in an election of deputies to the Legislative Assembly does not obtain fifty thousand valid votes cast in its favour. The same article mentions that, in any case, no political party may be cancelled if it has legislative representation of at least one deputy in the Legislative Assembly.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in La Prensa Grafica