Nayib Bukele’s party takes supermajority in legislature amid voter fraud allegations

Nayib Bukele’s party takes supermajority in legislature amid voter fraud allegations

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New Ideas, the ruling party of reelected pro-Bitcoin (BTC) El Salvador President Nayib Bukele, has secured a supermajority of seats in the country’s legislature.

On Feb. 20, the body overseeing El Salvador’s elections reported the New Ideas party had won 54 out of the 60 seats in the legislature, ensuring Bukele would have the political means to continue his agenda. The results were part of the country’s elections held on Feb. 4. Bukele claimed victory on Feb. 5 before the official results were released, suggesting the New Ideas party had won 58 seats instead of 54.

Despite the president’s claims of victory in the legislature, opposition groups have been calling for the results to be voided, alleging voter fraud. Vamos, Nuestro Tiempo and Nationalist Republican Alliance reportedly found 69 “anomalies” in the electoral process. The Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front party made similar fraud and voter manipulation allegations.

Bukele took office in June 2019, becoming one of the only world leaders openly in favor of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. He called on the Salvadoran government to adopt BTC as legal tender in September 2021, when the New Ideas party also had a supermajority in the government.

Branding himself as the “world’s coolest dictator,” Bukele’s time as the nation’s leader has also been marked by reports of human rights violations in his attempts to crack down on gang violence and homicides in El Salvador. A March 2023 United Nations report said El Salvador had implemented “mass detentions” since 2022, in which many people died in custody or were otherwise mistreated.

Related: Salvadoran president’s Bitcoin strategy ‘unwavering’ amid elections

During Bukele’s time in office, El Salvador’s Supreme Court changed the rules to allow a president to serve two consecutive terms rather than waiting ten years before running for reelection. Bukele resigned from office in December 2023 to focus on his campaign, leaving Claudia Rodríguez de Guevara to serve as acting president until June 2024.

Bukele will be speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington DC on Feb. 22. The gathering will include far-right members of the United States’ Republican Party, Argentinan President Javier Milei, former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy and former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Magazine: What it’s actually like to use Bitcoin in El Salvador