El Salvadorian President Nayib Bukele has won a landslide victory in the country’s presidential election, earning him a historic second term and underscoring his status as one of the world’s most popular political leaders.
Posting on the X platform, Bukele announced that he had won the election with over 85 percent of the vote.
“According to our numbers, we have won the presidential election with more than 85% of the votes and a minimum of 58 of 60 deputies in the Assembly,” he wrote. “This is a record in the entire history of the democratic world… God bless El Salvador.”
De acuerdo a nuestros números, hemos ganado la elección presidencial con más del 85% de los votos y un mínimo de 58 de 60 diputados de la Asamblea.
El récord en toda la historia democrática del mundo.
Nos vemos a las 9pm frente al Palacio Nacional.
Dios bendiga a El Salvador.
— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) February 5, 2024
The election was merely a formality given Bukele’s widespread popularity, after he successfully transformed the Central American country from one of the region’s most dangerous places to one of its safest.
Over the course of his first term, he implemented a hardline security strategy that saw the arrest of around one percent of its population, many of whom were members of the MS-13 and 18th Street gangs. This has led murder and crime rates to plummet.
Nayib Bukele is expected to win re-election tonight in a sweeping landslide victory.
Why is he so popular? He did what he was elected to do. He cracked down on crime, jailed criminals & gang members, and murder rates dramatically decreased by 70% last year.
In 2023, El Salvador… pic.twitter.com/qcVgWCdfJf
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) February 4, 2024
Libs of TikTok’s X post continued: “In 2023, El Salvador became safer than the US. Destruction is a choice.”
Thousands of El Salvadorians took to the streets of the capital, San Salvador, to celebrate his victory, the majority of whom credit him with leading the country on a path to prosperity.
Salvadorans are taking to the streets to celebrate the historic election. President Bukele is the first in modern El Salvadoran history to be elected to two terms as President. pic.twitter.com/4z4HgwegY3
— Dr. Ben Braddock (@GraduatedBen) February 5, 2024
However, critics of Bukele have expressed concerns over his authoritarian style, arguing that many people are being held without charge or due process.
In a report last December, Amnesty International denounced his government as overseeing the “gradual replacement of gang violence with state violence,” adding that the country was experiencing an “alarming regression in the respect for and protection of human rights.”
Just last week, a group of left-wing Democratic lawmakers sent an open letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken complaining about alleged repression and human rights abuses.
I led Members of Congress in sending a letter to @SecBlinken urging action on threats to democracy in El Salvador.
The State Dept must review its relationship with El Salvador and defend democratic values. The Salvadoran people deserve free and fair elections without fear of…
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) January 31, 2024
Among them was Rep. Ilhan Omar, who complained that the country was failing to uphold “democratic values.” Her X post continued: “The Salvadoran people deserve free and fair elections without fear of repression.”
Bukele responded by saying he was “honored” to be attacked by such a disreputable figure.
“We are HONORED to receive your attacks, just days before OUR election,” he wrote. I would be very worried if we had your support. Thank you.”