El Salvador‘s president, Nayib Bukele, has emerged victorious in the country’s recent elections, securing a landslide victory. Despite concerns about potential erosion of democracy, voters chose to reward Bukele for his strong stance against gangs, which greatly improved security in the nation.
Provisional results, with over 70% of the ballots counted, showed that Bukele had garnered 83% of the support. He declared himself the winner, claiming to have obtained more than 85% of the vote. Bukele’s New Ideas party is expected to secure the majority of seats in the legislative body, further strengthening his power and influence as the most powerful leader in El Salvador’s modern history.
Thousands of Bukele’s supporters gathered in San Salvador‘s central square, dressed in cyan blue and waving flags, to celebrate his re-election. Bukele referred to the outcome as a “referendum” on his government and pledged to continue transforming El Salvador in the coming years.
Bukele’s tough stance on security, which involved the suspension of civil liberties to arrest over 75,000 Salvadorans without charges, led to a significant decline in murder rates and fundamentally transformed the country. However, some analysts have raised concerns about the long-term sustainability of this approach.
The elections were largely expected to result in Bukele’s victory, as polls consistently showed that voters wanted to reward him for his success in combating gang violence, which had plagued El Salvador and fueled migration to the United States.
Notably, Bukele’s victory dealt a blow to the traditional parties FMLN and Arena, which received single-digit support. Voters once again rejected these parties, which were associated with violence and corruption during their rule.
With this electoral triumph, Bukele will hold unprecedented power in El Salvador. Some opponents fear that he may seek to scrap term limits and rule indefinitely, following the example of Nicaragua’s president, Daniel Ortega.
Bukele’s focus in his second term is likely to shift towards revitalizing the economy, as El Salvador has experienced sluggish growth during his tenure. Poverty rates remain high, and private investment has declined. The success of Bukele’s highly publicized plans for Bitcoin City, a crypto haven powered by geothermal energy, also remains uncertain.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), currently in negotiations for a $1.3 billion bailout with El Salvador, has described the country’s fiscal situation as fragile.
Following Bukele’s victory, the Chinese embassy in San Salvador congratulated him and his party on their historic win in a post on X.
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