Please join the Americas Program for a timely conversation on elections and the future of democracy in El Salvador.
With general elections in El Salvador slated for February 4, the re-election of Nayib Bukele seems a foregone conclusion. More troubling however is the possibility that a set of electoral reforms shrinking the size of the Legislative Assembly and modifying the process for counting votes from Salvadorans living abroad will serve to engineer a legislature in which the opposition may not garner a single seat, effectively transforming El Salvador into a one-party state with the patina of democratic legitimacy. In light of the already troubling restriction of civil and political rights under Bukele's first term, such a development is a concerning portent for El Salvador and the region at large.
This event will seek to raise awareness of the electoral reforms pushed by Bukele and his allies to constrain the ability of opposition candidates to compete. It will also evaluate scenarios for a post-election El Salvador, and how the opposition and civil society can respond in the event they are excluded from government. Finally, it will consider the implications for the United States of potential one-party rule in El Salvador.
This event is made possible through general support to CSIS.
CSIS Americas deputy director and senior fellow Christopher Hernandez-Roy and Rubi Bledsoe examine the effects of mano dura (zero tolerance) in the Northern Triangle. They also outline recommendations to counter crime and support democracy and rule of law in the region.
Report by Christopher Hernandez-Roy and Rubi Bledsoe — April 12, 2023
Commentary by Ryan C. Berg and Henry Ziemer — June 8, 2023