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LatinNews Daily - 13 September 2021

US condemns El Salvador’s presidential re-election ruling

El Salvador: On 5 September the US State Department issued a statement condemning the 3 September ruling by the constitutional chamber (SC) of El Salvador’s supreme court (CSJ), which authorised immediate presidential re-election. The US State Department underlines that the ruling is “in contravention of the Salvadorean constitution” which “clearly prohibits presidential incumbents from re-election to a consecutive term”. It also highlights as cause for concern additional steps taken by El Salvador’s legislature to “consolidate control over the judiciary” on 31 August by “unconstitutionally amending the organic law on Judicial Careers, mandating retirement for justices at 60 years of age or 30 years of service under the premise of rooting out corruption”. The press release notes that “age or time in service has no direct tie to corruption” and that El Salvador already has established processes in place to remove corrupt actors. The press release warns that the 31 August reform demonstrates a “clear strategy to undermine judicial independence and remove a critical counterbalance on the executive branch” and that this “decline in democratic governance damages the relationship that the US 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”. 

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