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El Salvador’s Electoral Tribunal Officially Calls 2024 General Election

El Salvador’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) on Wednesday night called more than 5.5 million citizens to participate in the 2024 general election, in which President Nayib Bukele will seek another term, despite claims of unconstitutionality.

“The act that we carry out today is in compliance with the provisions of article 169 of the Electoral Code and we call on the electoral body to elections for president, vice president, deputies to the legislative assembly to the Central American Parliament and members to municipal councils,” announced TSE President Magistrate Dora Esmeralda Martínez de Barahona on national radio and television.

Martínez de Barahona said that “we affirm with certainty to the Salvadoran people that the resources are available to provide the country with transparent, modern and reliable elections,” she said.

The president magistrate reiterated that “the electoral process is advancing positively under conditions that already ensure the development of authentic, free, sovereign and democratic elections.”

She added that there will be 685,026 Salvadorans abroad who are also summoned to vote.

On Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, the presidential and legislative elections will be held, while on Sunday, Mar. 3, the Central American Parliament and mayoral elections will be carried out. If necessary, a second round or ballot of the presidential elections would be held on this last date.

Salvadorans will elect 44 mayors and municipal councils, instead of 242, after Congress approved a law to reorganize the territorial division of the country, presented and promoted by President Bukele.

In addition, they must vote for 60 deputies instead of 84, this also after the approval of a regulation promoted by the president.

Political parties can now register their candidates for president and vice president until Oct. 26.

It is unknown when the ruling party, Nuevas Ideas (NI), will present documentation to register Bukele and current Vice President Félix Ulloa as its candidates.

In September 2021, the NI-appointed judges in the constitutional chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice ruled that the president can serve two consecutive terms.

The United States embassy in El Salvador condemned the ruling as unconstitutional.

Last year Bukele announced his intention to run again, making him the first president of the Salvadoran democratic stage with the option to seek immediate re-election.

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) issued a statement on Wednesday in which it said that Salvadorans will go to the polls “as the rule of law and human rights violations in El Salvador deteriorate. In this context, it is imperative to guarantee the right to free, transparent and fair elections.” EFE