Broken Rights, Bendy Rules

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El Salvador’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal ruled this week that President Nayib Bukele can run for reelection in next year’s presidential race, even though the country’s constitution prohibits it, the Associated Press reported.

The court said Bukele and his running mate, Vice President Félix Ulloa, meet the legal requirements to run in the February 2024 vote.

The decision comes a week after Bukele registered to run as the candidate of his New Ideas party. That move prompted questions among legal scholars, who said the Central American nation’s constitution strictly prohibits a president from being reelected.

But in 2021, the country’s Supreme Court of Justice issued an interpretation of a specific article, allowing Bukele to seek another mandate for office. In its decision, the top court concluded that the matter of presidential reelection should be decided by Salvadorans through the electoral process.

Recent polls show Bukele is the frontrunner in the election.

The young president has become hugely popular because of his tough crackdown on powerful criminal gangs: It has led to crime rates dropping significantly in the Central American country.

Even so, critics said the downward trend can be attributed to an extended state of emergency in the nation, which has suspended many constitutional rights.

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