First modification: 09/05/2021 – 13:35
Washington condemned this Saturday the resolution of the Supreme Court of Justice of El Salvador, which on Friday approved the presidential re-election, something that it considers contrary to the Constitution of this Central American country. For its part, the Human Rights Commission of El Salvador also described the decision as an “attack against democracy.”
The charge d’affaires of the North American nation in San Salvador, Jean Manes said at a press conference that “the United States condemns the decision taken on September 3 by the Salvadoran Constitutional Chamber.”
The Constitutional Chamber, the highest instance of the Salvadoran Supreme Court of Justice, announced on Friday that it gave the green light for President Nayib Bukele to run for reelection if he deems it appropriate.
The ruling of the Court addressed to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) allows “a person who holds the presidency of the Republic and has not been president in the immediately preceding period to participate in the electoral contest for a second time.”
This Saturday, the first institution to rule on the ruling was the TSE, which in a statement stated that it “will comply” with the Court’s resolution.
Because the decisions of the Court are “unappealable and mandatory,” the TSE emphasizes that it “will abide by the provisions” that establish the “registration option” of the president for “a second term, if he so wishes and if a legally registered political party nominates him for said position “.
For his part, the head of the Human Rights Commission of El Salvador (CDHES), Miguel Montenegro, indicated that it was regrettable that this situation arises after the peace accords and the country’s progress in terms of justice.
For Montenegro, the endorsement of the Supreme Court is an “attack against democracy and justice” of the country.
Statements by the head of the Human Rights Commission of El Salvador (CDHES), Miguel Montenegro.
Manes also indicated that the Supreme Court’s decision “is clearly contrary to the Salvadoran constitution, which establishes that immediate reelection is not allowed.”
Furthermore, the ruling “is the direct result of the May 1 decision of the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly (dominated by the ruling party) to unconstitutionally remove the acting magistrates of the Constitutional Chamber and install loyal replacements to the Executive Branch”, underlines the diplomatic.
That removal and replacement of constitutional magistrates, according to Manes, “demonstrates a clear strategy to undermine judicial independence and remove a key counterweight to the executive branch.”
A fundamental principle of democracy are the three branches of government, so that “a weakening of the independence of the judiciary is a sign of a democracy in decline in El Salvador,” he emphasized.
“This decline in democracy damages the bilateral relationship that the United States strives to have with the government of El Salvador,” he explained.