An Election Brings El Salvador’s President Closer to Complete Control

MIN READMar 4, 2021 | 22:16 GMT

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele delivers a press conference at a hotel in San Salvador on Feb. 28, 2021.

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele delivers a press conference on Feb. 28, 2021.

(STANLEY ESTRADA/AFP via Getty Images)

With Congress now firmly in his corner, Salvadorian President Nayib Bukele will be free to implement sweeping reforms that may strain his relationship with the new U.S. administration. While votes are still being counted, preliminary results from El Salvador’s Feb. 28 elections show Bukele’s New Ideas party and its allies winning a congressional supermajority, with 61 out of 84 seats in the Legislative Assembly. The surprise landslide victory has vastly bolstered the 39-year-old president’s hold on Congress, where New Ideas previously held only five seats. The win also reflects Salvadorians’ widespread support for the president’s first two years in office despite the country’s ongoing COVID-19 and economic crises, and marks the first time a single party has controlled both executive and legislative branches since El Salvador returned to democracy in 1992. ...

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