El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele, who is recognized for taking tough measures against gang activity in his country, has announced his reelection.
Despite not having received confirmation, the 42-year-old claimed on social media that he had won with 85% of the vote.
The Constitutional Court permitted Mr. Bukele to run for a second term.
His popularity has increased dramatically as a result of a criminal crackdown that has improved the security situation in the nation.
El Salvador is now among the safest in Latin America, having changed from being one of the world’s most violent nations.
Mr. Bukele, a former mayor of El Salvador’s capital, has referred to himself as “the world’s coolest dictator”.
Before Sunday’s election, he warned voters that failure to reelect him could undo his accomplishments.
Grieving family members of victims of the MS-13 and 18th Street gangs, the nation’s two largest gangs, have appeared in his campaign commercials. They praised the president for his crackdown in heartfelt testimonies.
Even with his widespread appeal, Mr. Bukele is still a contentious figure. The anti-gang drive of the president has resulted in thousands of arbitrary arrests, according to human rights groups.
Under emergency measures that have been repeatedly extended, an estimated 75,000 people have been placed under arrest.
Amnesty International denounced the “gradual replacement of state violence with gang violence” in a December report.
The reelection campaign of Mr. Bukele has drawn criticism. The constitution prohibits him from running for office a second time in a row.
However, in 2021, the president was permitted to run again by the constitutional court, which is presided over by his supporters, as long as they stepped down before a second term.
A few weeks ago, Mr. Bukele ostensibly resigned as president to meet that requirement. June is when he will take the oath.