El Salvador’s highest court rules presidents can serve two consecutive terms

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New Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele speaks after receiving the presidential sash during an oath-taking ceremony in San Salvador, El Salvador, June 1, 2019. REUTERS / Jose Cabezas

SAN SALVADOR, Sept. 4 (Reuters) – El Salvador’s highest court has ruled that the country’s president can serve two consecutive terms, opening the door for outgoing President Nayib Bukele to run for re-election in 2024.

Rendered late Friday, the ruling was handed down by judges appointed by lawmakers in Bukele’s ruling party in May after impeaching previous judges, a move that drew sharp criticism from Washington and other foreign powers. .

The constitutional chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice ordered the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to allow a president who had not been in office “during the immediately preceding period to participate in the electoral race for a second time”.

Bukele’s government has also prepared a constitutional reform that aims to extend the presidential term to six years instead of five, and include the possibility of revoking the president’s term, among other measures. Read more

This has yet to be passed on to the Congress of the Central American country, which Bukele’s party and its allies control.

Bukele, a popular but divisive 40-year-old president, did not comment on the court ruling.

In 2014, the same tribunal ruled that presidents would have to wait 10 years after leaving office to be re-elected.

Reporting by Nelson Renteria; edited by John Stonestreet

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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