Bukele is Gaining Ground: What's in Store for El Salvador?

After Nuevas Ideas, the party led by president Nayib Bukele, achieved a convincing victory that would allow it to have a qualified majority in the Assembly, the country will face a scenario in which this political group would have enough power to make transcendental decisions.

Monday, March 1, 2021

For two years now, Nayib Bukele has won the presidential elections in El Salvador. The 39-year-old political leader became the country's first magistrate with promises of making a "different politics."

Bukele's arrival to the presidency coincides with the fall in popularity of ARENA and FMLN, traditional parties that had governed the country for the last three decades.

Several analysts agree that Nayib's triumph is due to the fact that the population was tired of the traditional Salvadoran politicians' ways of governing.

On February 28, 2021, legislative and municipal elections were held in the country, but the competition to win spaces in the Assembly is what most attracted the attention, since during 2020 Nayib Bukele maintained a tense relationship with the legislative body, an institution that concentrates a great deal of power.

According to preliminary counts, it is estimated that Nuevas Ideas could monopolize 56 seats, followed by ARENA with 14 or 15 deputies and FMLN with only 4 legislators. The other parties would have 5 or less representatives.

The importance of Nuevas Ideas winning 56 of the 84 seats in the Assembly, is that with that amount of deputies the government would have a qualified majority.

For example, for the approval of laws, the votes of at least 43 of the 84 deputies are needed, while to elect the magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice, the Attorney General, the magistrates of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and to approve international loans, a qualified majority of 56 votes is required.

The popularity that Bukele has gained in the last years was determinant for Nuevas Ideas to achieve this electoral triumph. Oscar Picardo, from the Francisco Gavidia University, told Laprensagrafica.com that "... people voted for Bukele, people did not vote for the candidates of Nuevas Ideas, people said they were going to vote against Arena and the FMLN. The president was decisive in the outcome of the elections because he is a powerful figure who conveys a lot'."

Political scientist Álvaro Artiga, told Elmundo.sv that Nuevas Ideas "... has two paths with all the legislative power: a positive legacy for the country or a route to Nicaragua."

Check out the "System for monitoring markets and economic situation in the Central American countries" by CentralAmericaData.

¿Busca soluciones de inteligencia comercial para su empresa?

More on this topic

Blow to Democracy Reported

May 2021

After the dismissal of the magistrates of the Constitutional Chamber and the Attorney General in El Salvador, the business sector affirms that these are "facts that consolidate an attack against democracy and threaten the liberties of Salvadorans".

In the elections held last February 28, Nuevas Ideas, a party led by president Nayib Bukele, achieved a resounding victory that allows it to have a qualified majority in the Legislative Assembly.

Winds of Change for El Salvador?

February 2019

With promises of a "different policy," ex-mayor of San Salvador, Nayib Bukele, won the presidential elections in El Salvador, which for the past 30 years has been governed by the traditional ARENA party and the FMLN.

The most updated data from the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of El Salvador show that after processing 99.94% of the minutes, the party GANA obtained 53% of the votes, followed by the Coalition of parties ARENA, PCN, PDC and DS, with 32%, the FMLN, with 14%, and Vamos, with 0.78%.

FMLN's Candidate Holds Small Lead in El Salvador's Election

March 2009

According to a poll by CID-Gallup, El Salvador's presidential election could be very close. 39% of respondents would vote for Mauricio Funes while 35% would back Rodrigo Ávila.

The article published by Angus Reid Global Monitor on its website states: "In September 2007, Funes became the FMLN’s presidential nominee. In March 2008, Ávila, a former National Police chief, won ARENA’s three-candidate internal nationwide primary."

El Salvador: The FMLN obtains majority in legislative elections

January 2009

With 46.3% of the votes counted, the Elections Tribunal announced that the FMLN had won 37 seats, three more than its main rival, the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance.

According to europapress.es: "When confirmed, these results will give the FMLN will have five more lawmakers than in the previous legislature, and would control the Legislative Assembly, the unicameral organ that is made up of 84 lawmakers, with the support of some of the minority parties, according to the 'El Salvador' daily. The old guerrillas managed to improve in the results especially in the eastern part of the country, which is historically unfavorable to the FMLN.