Q24N — The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, presented the registration request to compete in the 2024 elections and achieve a second consecutive term, despite allegations that it is unconstitutional.
The president along with the Salvadoran vice president, Félix Ulloa, his running mate, arrived at the headquarters of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), in San Salvador, in a caravan of vehicles that entered the parking lot of the collegiate entity at 11:11 p.m. local time, minutes before the deadline for candidates to submit their documentation expired.
The ruling party Nuevas Ideas (NI), the party with which Bukele will compete, shared on its account on the social network X photographs in which Bukele and Ulloa can be seen meeting with TSE magistrates.
A strong security team was installed outside the venue, made up of soldiers and agents from the so-called Presidential Battalion, and hundreds of supporters came to support Bukele, who after the corresponding procedure came out to greet them.
“The Salvadoran people are going to decide if they want to continue building the new El Salvador or if they want to return to the past (…) we are going, with the help of God, to bury that opposition, for that we need to sweep all the polls,” the president said in a statement.
“There is a lot left to do and we are going to do all of this in the next five years (…) El Salvador is ready to work hand in hand with the entire international community, but always respecting our sovereignty and our independence,” he added.
The magistrates of the collegiate entity must now analyze Bukele’s request and accept or reject it. If they accept it, the president will be the first head of state to be a presidential candidate at the same time that he is president.
“If the TSE judges respected the Constitution and complied with the Constitution, as they swore, that candidacy should not be registered because it does not meet the legal requirements,” said Mauricio Maravilla, lawyer and communicator, in a telephone conversation with EFE.
According to various interpretations by analysts related to the ruling party, to be able to run for the presidency, Bukele resign on December 1, six months before the end of his term, which ends on June 1, 2024.
Article 156 of the Constitution establishes that “the positions of president and vice president, and those of appointees, can only be resigned for duly proven serious reasons, which the Legislative Assembly will qualify.”
Maravilla pointed out that “in this case the president would not have any serious cause for resigning, that is, his resignation should not be admitted by the Legislative Assembly.”
In September 2021, the magistrates of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) issued a resolution that reflected a change in criteria regarding consecutive reelection.
The judges, accused by the United States of being “loyal” to Bukele’s Executive and elected in an irregular process in the Legislative Assembly, pointed out that the prohibition of consecutive re-election is for a ruler who has been in power for 10 years.
Before this change, a president had to finish his 5-year term and wait 10 to seek the Presidency again.
Bukele announced his intention to seek reelection in September 2022, making him the first president of the Salvadoran democratic stage with the option of seeking consecutive reelection.
Various lawyers, including the Faculty of Jurisprudence of the state University of El Salvador (UES), have indicated that the re-election of Bukele would imply the violation of several articles of the Constitution, such as the one that indicates that the person who has held the Presidency will not be able to “continue in his duties not one more day.”
Maravilla recalled that “re-election in El Salvador is unconstitutional and therefore any legal act or any political act that comes as a consequence of the ruling of the Constitutional Chamber the only thing it does is fall into the same vice as that ruling of the Chamber. that inhabits the president to run”
(With information from EFE)