Hundreds of Salvadorans demonstrated on Friday to denounce President Nayib Bukele’s desire for re-election at the end of his single mandate, and the detention of “innocents” in his fight against criminal groups.

“No to re-election”, “not one more day”, was written on the signs brandished by the demonstrators who marched on this Independence Day.

“We are marching in unity to say no to re-election,” Sonia Urrutia, leader of the Popular Front of Resistance and Rebellion collective, told the press.

In the procession, Judge Juan Antonio Duran affirmed that “re-election is absolutely prohibited” by the Constitution.

The Salvadoran president, 42, announced in September his candidacy for re-election in 2024. This announcement had relaunched the debate on the compatibility of such a decision with the Constitution, made possible by a controversial ruling by Supreme Court judges appointed by the parliamentary majority favorable to the head of state.

In September 2021, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court interpreted an article of the Constitution allowing Mr. Bukele to run again. The constitutional ban on running for a second consecutive term has, however, always been respected until now by his predecessors.

Polls give Mr. Bukele a considerable lead. But if nine out of 10 Salvadorans approve of the action of the head of state who chased criminal gangs from the streets, his expeditious method draws criticism from human rights organizations and the United Nations, and from analysts. are worried to see him govern without sharing and without counter-power.

Under the state of emergency it declared and allows arrests without a judicial warrant, the government has imprisoned some 72,600 people suspected of belonging to gangs.

According to the authorities, some 7,000 people wrongly arrested have been released.

In the demonstration, Patricia Santamaria holding a photo of her son Alex Ernesto, 34, asks for his release “because they have been detaining him unjustly since December 2, 2022. He has a clean criminal record,” she said. insured

16/09/2023 10:14:31 –         San Salvador (AFP) –         © 2023 AFP