El Salvador’s Bukele wins supermajority in Congress

El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele and his New Ideas party secured a supermajority in Congress, granting him substantial power to govern independently. Bukele’s landslide victory in the February 4th presidential election was followed by a similarly strong performance by New Ideas in legislative elections, winning 54 out of 60 seats, with allied parties gaining three more.

Despite allegations of irregularities in the vote-counting process, which have drawn criticism from electoral watchdogs and the opposition, the electoral authorities confirmed New Ideas’ dominance. Bukele had already claimed victory on election night, boasting of record-breaking support.

This supermajority further consolidates Bukele’s control over all branches of government, reinforcing his self-styled image as the “world’s coolest dictator.” While he enjoys widespread popularity for his crackdown on gangs, critics accuse him of undermining democracy through electoral reforms favoring his party and potentially seeking to amend the constitution to extend his rule.

With congress firmly in his grip, Bukele can continue his policies without obstruction, including emergency measures against gangs. Additionally, his party’s majority enables him to address economic challenges and silence dissenting voices within the judiciary and government.

Despite concerns raised by electoral observers about irregularities and intimidation tactics by New Ideas members, the extent to which these factors influenced the election outcome remains uncertain. While acknowledging irregularities, some observers believe they were not significant enough to alter the overall trend favoring Bukele and his party.

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