Nayib Bukele wins general election in El Salvador

Thirty-seven-year-old former mayor of San Salvador, Nayib Bukele, won the El Salvador presidential elections in the first round on 4 February 2019, bringing an end to a two-party system dominated by the ruling left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) and the conservative National Republican Alliance (ARENA) party. Once a member of the FMLN, Bukele ran with the right-wing Grand Alliance for National Unity (GANA) party, an offshoot of ARENA. Bukele, whose campaign was primarily conducted via social media, ran on an anti-corruption platform, promising to establish an international anti-graft body similar to CICIG. He also promised to address mounting insecurity and gang activity in El Salvador with a focus on prevention and job creation, particularly for youth. While Relations between the US and El Salvador have deteriorated under the outgoing FMLN Government, a Tweet by President-Elect Bukele following a discussion with US National Security Advisor John Bolton, suggests that Bukele may be open to a realignment with the United States. The Tweet read, “The United States will find in El Salvador, not only an ally, but also a friend”.

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