Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele told a crowd on the night of the country’s Independence Day that he planned to run again for the highest office in 2024, despite the country’s constitution long barring candidates from filling two consecutive terms.
Bukele spearheaded El Salvador’s controversial decision to make bitcoin legal tender on September 7, 2021, making the Central American country the first in the world to do so. He also discussed plans to build a tax haven called Bitcoin City in a remote area.
Although the president has maintained high approval ratings, he has been criticized for the impact his bitcoin buying strategy has had on the country’s financial situation and for his lack of transparency.
The Salvadoran constitution has long prohibited presidential candidates from running for two consecutive five-year terms. But days before El Salvador made bitcoin legal tender last year, El Salvador’s newly revamped Supreme Court ruled that candidates could, after all, sit for a second term. The US government blasted the decision, saying it “undermined democracy” and was the “direct result” of a legislative decision to remove judges in favor of those who supported Bukele’s administration.
Bukele’s decision to run again is not necessarily a surprise, with many expecting the announcement since the court’s re-election decision.
Hours before the re-election announcement, Fitch Ratings lowered the long-term default rating of El Salvador’s currency issuers.
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About the Author
Kristin Majcher is senior correspondent at The Block, based in Colombia. It covers the Latin American market. Prior to joining, she worked as a freelance writer with bylines in Fortune, Condé Nast Traveler, and MIT Technology Review, among other publications.