Here is a collection of news coverage and analysis of the upcoming elections in El Salvador.
In English from a variety of viewpoints:
A Millennial Authoritarian Wins Over El Salvador (Mac Margolis in Bloomberg) "This weekend’s legislative elections could make President Nayib Bukele his country’s most powerful leader in a generation."
The elections in El Salvador could make or break Biden’s Central America policy. (Michael Paarlberg and Ricardo J. Valencia in Washington Post) "President Nayib Bukele has been acting more and more like an authoritarian."
Why El Salvador's Multi-Party System is on the Brink of Collapse (Oscar Pocasangre in El Faro) "I propose two interrelated explanations for the likely demise of Arena and the FMLN: changes in the electoral rules and the poor performance of both parties at controlling crime while getting tainted by corruption scandals."
El Salvador election could remake political landscape (Marcos Aleman of AP) "Anger with the parties that ruled El Salvador for nearly three decades swept Bukele into office in 2019, and frustration remains. Bukele has made clear the Legislative Assembly has been an obstacle to his efforts in everything from controlling crime to managing the coronavirus pandemic."
Transgender people in El Salvador are defending their right to vote (Carlos Lara in Global Voices) "LGBTQI people are giving sensitivity training to polling station staff."
El Salvador: Political outlook towards elections 2021
(Ariel Andrade in Financial Express) "A result of this magnitude [super-majority] will have many possible scopes, however the most relevant is that it will consolidate the legitimacy of President Bukele, reducing traditional parties to political irrelevance and confirming the beginning of a new era in national politics."
Can Bukele get the majority needed to reshape El Salvador's future
(Interview with yours truly in BNAmericas) "There’s no unified opposition to Bukele in the country. In general, the old parties have very little credibility among the Salvadoran public and that in large part explains the strength of Bukele’s movement. It's the failures of the old political parties to have addressed a lot of El Salvador’s problems in the 30 years since the civil war ended."
Explainer: El Salvador’s 2021 Legislative Elections
(Chase Harrison, AS/COA) "Since becoming president in 2019, Nayib Bukele has transformed the Salvadoran electoral landscape by challenging El Salvador’s political institutions and norms. While he won’t be on the ballot in the country’s upcoming midterm elections, his presence will very much be felt, as parties position themselves in relation to his Twitter-heavy brand of politics."
El Salvador's president set for major electoral wins
(BNAmericas) "El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele is expected to make major gains in the legislative and municipal elections on February 28 despite corruption allegations and congressional pressure. Bukele's strong local support stems from popular approval of his handling of the pandemic, endorsed by 91% of respondents in a CID Gallup poll from early February."
Corruption Scandals Stain Bukele’s Image Ahead of Key Elections in El Salvador
(Robert Looney in World Politics Review) "In recent months, journalists, prosecutors and opposition lawmakers have uncovered evidence of misallocated funds, bloated procurement contracts and other financial impropriety. The scandals have even implicated senior officials in President Nayib Bukele’s government, threatening to undermine his popularity ahead of key legislative elections next month."
A small selection in Spanish:
Todo indica que Nayib Bukele asaltará el Parlamento salvadoreño el 28-F, esta vez en las urnas
(Roberto Valencia in Divergentes) "Polls of all colors and analysts of all stripes agree that this Sunday, February 28, New Ideas, the political party tailor-made for the Salvadoran president, will sweep the legislature. The elections are a kind of plebiscite on Bukele and bukelismo. The authoritarian outbursts of the president and the increasingly numerous cases of corruption uncovered do not seem to have affected the desire of society to bury the party system built around Arena and the FMLN. But there is a risk that the control of the congress will deepen the autocratic vocation of the Salvadoran president."
Un país centroamericano llamado El Paisnal
(Jacobo Garcia in El Pais) "This municipality of El Salvador, one hour from the capital, pulls together the vices and virtues of this new country of Nayib Bukele which goes to the polls on Sunday."
Votar por botar
(Carlos Dada in El Faro) "How do you explain the fact that a president who has betrayed all his campaign promises is the one with the highest approval ratings on the continent and is on the verge of sweeping the legislative elections?"
Autoritarismo a golpe de tuit en El Salvador
(Gabriela Villarroel in Gato Encerrado) "The economic, social and political crisis in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, has uncovered a totalitarian regime in El Salvador. The popular support that shields President Nayib Bukele, has earned him enough power to invade the Legislative Assembly using the military, and to persecute his opponents, critics of the Government, journalists, independent media and academics."