El Salvador’s president granted leave to pursue re-election campaign

2023 12 01T061302Z 1411843395 RC2YN4ALFNKE RTRMADP 3 EL SALVADOR POLITICS scaled
President of the Salvadoran congress, Ernesto Castro from the ruling Nuevas Ideas party prepares to leave after a special session where congress members approved El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele's license to leave office and dedicate himself to the 2024 re-election campaign in San Salvador, El Salvador November 30, 2023. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

On Thursday the Congress of El Salvador approved President Nayib Bukele’s request, for a leave of absence. This will allow him to focus on campaigning for the election, which is scheduled to take place next year.

As part of this approval, Claudia Rodriguez who currently leads the National Directorate of Municipal Works has been chosen as Bukele’s replacement. Rodriguez has experience working in businesses associated with the Bukele family. He served during Nayib Bukele’s tenure as mayor of Nuevo Cuscatlan and San Salvador.

Earlier in the week Bukele announced his intention to formally request a leave of absence in order to fully dedicate himself to the election campaign.

Although there are limitations, both Bukele and Vice President Felix Ulloa are seeking a consecutive term in the election scheduled for February 4. The winner is expected to assume office on June 1, next year.

While some critics question whether Bukele is eligible for a term due to constitutional restrictions, the country’s highest court ruled in favour of his candidacy in 2021.

Despite facing allegations of human rights violations, Bukele who previously served as mayor of San Salvador enters the election with popularity due to his strong stance against violent gangs in the country. His approach includes arresting over 75,000 individuals suspected of gang involvement.

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