El Salvador Top Court Rules President Can Run for 2nd Term

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El Salvador’s Supreme Court constitutional chamber ruled that a sitting president can run for a second term following their first term, potentially allowing President Nayib Bukele to seek reelection, according to a decision issued late on Friday evening.

The chamber ordered the country’s electoral court to comply with its ruling “that a person who holds the Presidency of the Republic and hasn’t been President in the previous immediate period participates in the electoral contest for a second occasion.”

El Salvador Top Court Rules President Can Run for 2nd Term

The ruling Nuevas Ideas party, which won a congressional super majority in the February elections, used the first meeting of a new legislative session in May to replace five judges from the constitutional chamber and to fire the attorney general in what critics considered a power grab.

Salvadoran law allows congress to remove constitutional judges and the attorney general with a two-thirds legislative vote. The U.S. and the Organization of American States criticized the move.

“This decline in democratic governance damages the relationship that the United States strives to maintain with the government of El Salvador and further erodes El Salvador’s international image as a democratic and trustworthy partner in the region,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement on Sunday.  

The electoral court issued a statement on Saturday saying it will comply with the ruling “establishing the President of the Republic’s option of registration as a candidate to the Presidency of the Republic for a second term if he so wishes and a legally registered political party proposes him for the post.”

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