Nayib Armando Bukele Ortez (born 24 July 1981) is a Salvadoran politician and businessman who is the 46th and current President of El Salvador. He has served since 1 June 2019 after winning the 2019 election. He ran as the candidate of the center-right Grand Alliance for National Unity (GANA) party and became the first president since José Napoleón Duarte (1984–1989) not to have been elected as the candidate of one of the country's two major political parties: the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) and the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA). He is also the founder of the political party Nuevas Ideas.
Bukele was previously elected mayor of Nuevo Cuscatlán on 11 March 2012. He was also elected mayor of San Salvador on 1 March 2015, and took office on 1 May 2015. He contested and won the elections to both public offices under the banner of the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front.
A populist, Bukele has been criticized for governing in an authoritarian manner. In particular, he was denounced for sending soldiers into the Legislative Assembly to encourage the passage of a bill and allegedly to overthrow the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador. This action, his handling of endemic violence in El Salvador, and his strict response to the COVID-19 pandemic have led some academics to describe him as an autocrat or an authoritarian. Transparency International cited El Salvador and Colombia as examples of an "explosion of irregularities and corruption cases" related to the handling of the pandemic in Latin America. Twenty government institutions of the Bukele administration were under investigation by the Attorney General's Office, until, in May 2021, Bukele led a parliamentarian move to fire the attorney general and multiple supreme court judges of El Salvador, which has been characterized as a self-coup and sparked fears of democratic backsliding and a power-grab. Despite his characterization as an autocrat and authoritarian, he is considered to be one of the most popular world leaders, consistently having high approval ratings.
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