At midnight on November 30th Nayib Bukele stepped back from the presidency of El Salvador to run again in elections in February. The six months between now and June 1st, the date of the inauguration, may be the only period for a long time that he is not at the helm of the Central American country. The constitution bars presidents from serving a second consecutive term.
But the 42-year-old has arranged an impressive show to suggest that his bid for re-election is legal. He is the first person to run for re-election since Maximiliano Hernández Martínez, a military dictator, did in 1939. How is Mr Bukele subverting term limits, and will he succeed?
Some of his stratagems are blatantly illegal. No fewer than six articles of the constitution ban a second consecutive term. But in 2021 Mr Bukele appointed new judges to the constitutional court. It swiftly reinterpreted the articles, ruling that a president could run again should he step back from the presidency six months before the inauguration.
His interim role seems barely distinguishable from his presidential one. Mr Bukele will keep his security detail, official residences and cars, among other things. The legislature, dominated by his party, granted him permission to campaign.
Source : Economists