El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele told a crowd on the night of the country’s Independence Day that he plans to run for the top office again in 2024, despite the country’s constitution long-prohibiting candidates from serving two terms in a row.
Bukele spearheaded El Salvador’s controversial move to make bitcoin legal tender on September 7, 2021, making the Central American country the first in the world to do so. He has also discussed plans to build a tax haven called Bitcoin City in a remote region.
While the president has maintained high approval ratings, he has faced criticism over the impact his bitcoin-buying strategy has had on the country’s financial position and for lacking transparency.
El Salvador’s constitution has long prohibited presidential candidates from seeking two consecutive, five-year terms. But days before El Salvador made bitcoin legal tender last year, its newly-revamped top court ruled that candidates could, after all, serve a second term. The US government blasted the ruling, saying that it “undermines democracy” and was the “direct result” of a legislative decision to remove justices in favor of those supporting Bukele’s administration.
Bukele’s decision to run again does not necessarily come as a surprise, with many expecting the announcement ever since the court’s reelection ruling.
Hours before the reelection announcement, Fitch Ratings downgraded El Salvador’s long-term foreign currency issuer default rating.
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Kristin Majcher is a senior correspondent at The Block, based in Colombia. She covers the Latin America market. Before joining, she worked as a freelancer with bylines in Fortune, Condé Nast Traveler and MIT Technology Review among other publications.