El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele asked – and was granted – a six-month leave on Thursday, November 30th. Vice-President Félix Ulloa was also granted the same six-month leave. Both will use it the time to campaign for reelection, despite El Salvador’s constitution expressly prohibiting consecutive terms for Presidents.
Claudia Juana Rodríguez de Guevara, Bukele’s private secretary and close ally, will be the interim President of the country during Bukele’s leave of absence. She’s set to remain in the position until Bukele’s current term ends on May 30th, 2024.
“I’m announcing to the Salvadoran people that I’ve decided to run as a candidate for President of the Republic,” Bukele announced last year, during an Independence Day (September 15) speech. “Developed countries have re-election,” he added. “And thanks to the new configuration of the democratic institution of our country, now El Salvador will too.”
In 2021 the Supreme Court of El Salvador, made up of judges appointed by Bukele’s party, ruled that a second consecutive term by a President was possible. However, the Constitution has yet to be changed to reflect that – and the country’s Constitution expressly states it cannot be changed to modify the matter of consecutive Presidential terms. Constitutional experts in the country have indicated that Bukele’s reelection bid violates at least six articles of the Constitution.
Alongside the request for leave, Bukele also requested his security service, the use of the presidential battalion, transportation personnel, use of residences, and all prerogatives that lead to his legal security being maintained.
The presidential term of Nayib Bukele will end next year. Elections in the country are set for February 4th, 2024.