Security & Strategic Review - July 2023

EL SALVADOR: Redrawing the political map

El Salvador’s national assembly, which is controlled by President Nayib Bukele’s Nuevas Ideas (NI), has passed two electoral reforms which overhaul the country’s political system. Approved less than a week apart, the new legislation, which comes less than a year before general and municipal elections, slashes the number of the country’s municipalities and the size of its legislature. Critics of President Bukele, who is running again despite a ban on consecutive re-election [WR-22-38], fear a further power grab. They warn the measures continue the process of dismantling democratic institutions underway since NI secured an unprecedented two-thirds legislative majority in February 2021, enabling it to appoint loyalists to key posts in various institutions.

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