Legislative elections in El Salvador: Nayib Bukele's party triumphs, the opposition calls for the cancellation of the vote

Re-elected President Nayib Bukele's Nuevas Ideas party will dominate El Salvador's Congress after winning 54 of 60 seats in the February 4 legislative elections, which opponents demanded be annulled, the electoral court announced Monday (February 19)

Legislative elections in El Salvador: Nayib Bukele's party triumphs, the opposition calls for the cancellation of the vote

Re-elected President Nayib Bukele's Nuevas Ideas party will dominate El Salvador's Congress after winning 54 of 60 seats in the February 4 legislative elections, which opponents demanded be annulled, the electoral court announced Monday (February 19). “The Nuevas Ideas party obtained 54 deputies and their respective substitutes,” declared the president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Dora Martinez, on a national radio and television channel.

The ruling party also had a majority in the outgoing legislature, with 56 seats. Its allies, the PCN (National Concertation Party, on the right) and the Arena (Nationalist Republican Alliance, on the right) each have two deputies.

Finally, the PDC (Christian Democratic Party) and Vamos (center) both obtained a seat in Congress which, following a reform of the electoral law, will go from 84 to 60 deputies from May 1, date of entry into office of the new legislature.

Nuevas Ideas has controlled the Salvadoran Congress since 2021, with the PCN and PDC as allies.

“It is necessary to hold new elections”

Hours before the TSE made the results of the legislative elections official, three opposition parties called for the vote to be canceled due to alleged “irregularities”. “We have appealed to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to request the nullity of the legislative elections and request new elections due to serious violations of the political rights of citizens and all candidates,” Claudia Ortiz, deputy of the centrist Vamos party, told the press .

The right-wing groups Arena and Nuestro Tiempo also supported the call to cancel the votes. “The entire legislative electoral process was marred by irregularities,” which is why “it is necessary to conduct new elections,” argued Arena President Carlos Garcia Saade. The TSE will have to decide in the coming days whether to accept or reject this request.

Praised for his fight against crime, Nayib Bukele was re-elected with an overwhelming majority of 84.65% of the votes during the presidential election organized at the same time as the legislative elections, according to the official count. Within the new Congress, Nuevas Ideas will have a sufficient majority to make decisions such as maintaining the emergency regime that supports the fight against gangs.