Nayib Bukele steps down as El Salvador’s President ahead of re-election bid

Nayib Bukele steps down as El Salvador’s President ahead of re-election bid


El Salvador President Nayib Bukele, who was behind legislation recognizing Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender in the country, has stepped down from office to campaign.

On Dec. 1, Bukele resigned as the President of El Salvador following approval from the country’s Legislative Assembly, allowing him to take a leave of absence to focus on his 2024 re-election campaign. He was succeeded by Acting President Claudia Rodríguez de Guevara, who is expected to serve until June 2024. The next general election will take place in February 2024.

“Current state of democracy in El Salvador: the office of the President of the Republic will be occupied by a person for whom no one has ever voted,” said Héctor Silva, candidate for the mayor’s office of San Salvador, on X.

Bukele, who first took office in June 2019, quickly became known for his attempts to reduce the homicide rate in El Salvador — one of the highest in the world at the time — as well as his pro-crypto policies. He advocated for the Salvadoran government to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender in September 2021 and pushed for the creation of a volcano-powered ‘Bitcoin City’ in the country.


Related: Salvadoran pro-Bitcoin President Nayib Bukele launches reelection bid

Though the homicide rate under Bukele has dropped significantly, many critics have pointed to El Salvador violating laws on human rights in its attempts to crack down on gang activity. A United Nations human rights office report from March said the country had implemented “mass detentions” since 2022, in which many people were mistreated or had died in custody.

The President of El Salvador serves for a five-year term. Before September 2021, the country’s constitution required presidents to wait ten years before running for re-election. However, El Salvador’s Supreme Court ruled at that time that a president may serve two consecutive terms.

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


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