Outsider wins El Salvador presidency, breaking two-party system
SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) – A former mayor campaigning on an anti-corruption price tag swept to victory in El Salvador’s presidential election on Sunday, bringing an finish to a two-party system that has held sway over the violence-plagued Central American nation for 3 a long time.
Presidential candidate Nayib Bukele of the Great National Alliance (GANA) speaks throughout a information convention after the presidential election in San Salvador, El Salvador, February three, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
Nayib Bukele, the 37-year-old former mayor of the capital, San Salvador, gained 54 p.c of votes with returns counted from 44 p.c of polling stations. His two competitors from mainstream political events conceded defeat.
Electoral government mentioned they might claim definitive effects inside of two days.
Bukele should now cope with U.S. President Donald Trump’s common threats to chop support to El Salvador – in addition to neighboring Guatemala and Honduras – if they don’t do extra to curb migration to the United States.
“Today, we won in the first round and we made history,” Bukele mentioned in a victory speech to cheering supporters within the capital, after turning to snap a selfie with the group.
“We’ve turned the page on power.”
Bukele, who used to be mayor from 2015 to 2018, capitalized at the anti-establishment feeling sweeping elections around the area and additional afield, as electorate search a substitute for conventional events.
Gang violence has made El Salvador some of the global’s maximum murderous international locations previously few years, using Salvadorans to escape to the north.
Among his marketing campaign guarantees, Bukele, an avid social media consumer who frequently sports activities a black leather-based jacket, mentioned he would push infrastructure initiatives to restrict such migration.
Since the tip of its civil conflict in 1992, El Salvador has been ruled via the ruling leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) and its rival, conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA).
Though he describes himself as from the left and used to be expelled from the FMLN, Bukele has shaped a coalition together with a right-wing birthday celebration that in combination has simply 11 seats within the legislature.
Outside of the lodge in San Salvador the place Bukele waited for the effects, a gaggle of supporters spark off fireworks, beat drums and danced as early figures got here in.
“Yes, we did it! Yes, we did it!” they chanted.
FMLN candidate Hugo Martinez conceded defeat in a while after Bukele’s victory speech whilst ARENA candidate Carlos Calleja mentioned he known the election effects and would name Bukele to provide congratulations.
It used to be no longer instantly transparent when the electoral tribune would whole counting all ballots.
‘CORRUPT CAN’T HIDE’
Besides demanding situations at the world level, as soon as Bukele takes place of business in June, he’ll face a gradual financial system and rampant poverty.
He desires to modernize govt and create a global anti-corruption fee with the make stronger of the United Nations, following equivalent committees in Guatemala and Honduras.
“We’ll create a (commission) … so that the corrupt can’t hide where they always hide, instead they’ll have to give back what they stole,” Bukele mentioned in January.
Growing up, Bukele’s reasonably rich circle of relatives used to be sympathetic to the FMLN, the previous leftist guerrilla military that turned into a political birthday celebration on the finish of the civil conflict.
But Bukele has became clear of Latin America’s conventional left, branding Venezuelan chief Nicolas Maduro and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega in addition to conservative Honduran Juan Orlando Hernandez as dictators.
“A dictator is a dictator, on the ‘right’ or the ‘left’,” Bukele wrote final week on Twitter.
Reporting via Nelson Renteria and Noe Torres; Writing via Christine Murray and Daina Beth Solomon; Editing via Rosalba O’Brien and Sonya Hepinstall