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El Salvador Has Re-elected “The World’s Coolest Dictator” For A Second Consecutive Term

Nayib Bukele, who introduced Bitcoin as an official currency, is undeniably popular for having tackled the country’s gang problem but has moved the country into a dictatorship.

El Salvador has re-elected “the world’s coolest dictator” for a second consecutive term and people didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

El Salvador president re-elect
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele gestures while speaking during the inaugural of the ISA World Surfing Games 2021 on May 29, 2021 in La Libertad, El Salvador. (Photo by Rolan Barrientos/APHOTOGRAFIA/Getty Images)

Why Were The Elections Such A Big Deal?

In February, El Salvador held its general election.

El Salvador elections president
A woman casts her vote during the presidential and legislative elections at a polling station in San Salvador on February 4, 2024. (Photo by Marvin RECINOS / AFP)

Right from the beginning, the election was contentious because it was the first time a president sought reelection since the 1930s.

Technically, El Salvador’s constitution bans presidents from running for consecutive terms, but the country’s top court allowed the current president, 42-year-old Nayib Bukele to run again.

Who is Nayib Bukele?
A protester holds a placard expressing his opinion during a demonstration against the Bukele administration on El Salvador’s independence day. Salvadorians protest as President Nayib Bukele seeks reelection in the upcoming General elections. (Photo by Camilo Freedman/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Its only condition was that he has to leave the presidency six months before the start of the next term, before Dec. 1.

Who Is Nayib Bukele?

Nayib Bukele coolest dictator
El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele, accompanied by US Ambassador to El Salvador Ronald Johnson (out of frame), speaks during a joint press conference at Rosales Hospital in San Salvador on May 26, 2020. (Photo by Yuri CORTEZ / AFP)

Bukele, who is perhaps best known for introducing Bitcoin as an official currency, is undeniably popular in El Salvador for having tackled the country’s gang problem.

But he has also been accused of consolidating power into a single party, moving the country into a dictatorship and violating human rights.

Nayib Bukele President
Salvadorean Sandra Hernandez, poses with a picture of her husband Jose Dimas Medrano, who was captured during the emergency regime and later died of kidney failure while in prison, speaks during an interview with AFP in El Rosario, El Salvador, on January 29, 2024. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP)

Who Was Bukele Running Against?

Bukele leftist opposition candidate, Manuel "Chino" Flores
Manuel Flores, presidential candidate of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), greets his followers during the 2024 Presidential and Legislative Elections in San Salvador, El Salvador on February 04, 2024. (Photo by Alex Pena/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Bukele’s main opponent, leftist opposition candidate, Manuel “Chino” Flores, however, had memes on his side.

His popularity rose from 4% to 7% in just two days after people turned him into a huge meme.

People made memes based on Flores’ “English” name, which literally translates to “Chinese Flowers”.

“Good statistics for future votes. The mission is clear, to go hard on the shitposting from day 1,” a person replied.

What Happened During The Elections?

El Salvador’s elections took place at the same time that the Grammys aired, so people used the opportunity to discuss the country’s situation in the context of the awards show.

El Salvador coolest dictator Nayib Bukele

“Me: With one eye on the Grammys…and thinking about the results of #ElSalvadorElections2024,” one person wrote on X. 

Taylor Swift’s album announcement at the Grammys also led supporters of Bukele seeing the announcement as a double-win.

People support Nayib Bukele World's coolest dictator
Supporters of Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele gather outside the National Palace to celebrate his re-election during the presidential and legislative elections in San Salvador on February 4, 2024. (Photo by Marvin RECINOS / AFP)

Meanwhile, others felt it was one piece of good news among the bad.

“Well girls, we lost democracy, but we gained an album,” one person wrote.

“I hope the fireworks are because Taylor Swift got a Grammy,” another person wrote, referring to the fireworks set off by Bukele’s party, Nuevas Ideas, after the election polls closed.

World's coolest dictaor re-elected el salvador
Drones are seen forming a cap with “N”, a symbol referred to as “the N of Nayib” during a speech at his celebration after calling a victory. (Photo by Camilo Freedman/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

What Happened After The Election?

Nayib Bukele El Salvador
El Salvador presidential candidate Nayib Bukele of the Great National Alliance (GANA) speaks to the media after proclaiming himself as winner of the presidential election in San Salvador on February 3, 2019. (Photo by MARVIN RECINOS / AFP)

On Sunday, less than two hours after the polling stations closed, Bukele announced on Twitter that he won the presidential elections with more than 85% of the vote and that his party won all except two seats of the assembly. 

“A record in the entire democratic history of the world,” he wrote on Twitter, while also announcing a celebration later in the evening.

“This will be the first time where one party rules a country in a completely democratic system,” Bukele told a crowd gathered for a celebration in the capital’s downtown on the evening of the elections. “The entire opposition has been pulverized.”

El Salvador Nayib Bukele President
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele greets supporters after casting his vote during the presidential and legislative elections in San Salvador on February 4, 2024. (Photo by YURI CORTEZ / AFP)

His announcement surprised many considering that the election committee had yet to announce any official results for both the presidential and legislative elections.

It sparked some serious shade from some people online.

El Salvador Re-elected “The World’s Coolest Dictator”

“Thanks for the results, now we just need to finish counting the votes,” one person wrote on X.

On Feb. 9, five days after the election, the electoral committee announced that Bukele had won with 82.5% of eligible votes.

But It Still Wasn’t Over.

el salvador Bukele president second term

Inconsistencies in the vote counting system led authorities to have to manually counting votes one by one.

Nayib Bukele re-elected president

And now, almost three weeks later, the process is finally complete.

What Now?

Results showed that Bukele’s party has once again won 54 out of 60 congress seats.

Coolest dictator el salvador bukele
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele greets supporters next to his wife Gabriela Rodriguez after the presidential and legislative elections in San Salvador on February 4, 2024. (Photo by Marvin RECINOS / AFP)

Bukele, who left office on Nov. 30, will start his new term on June 1.

El Salvador Bukele re-elected second term
President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele announces he would run for re-election despite the country’s constitution prohibiting presidents from having consecutive terms during a speech on El Salvador’s Independence Day on September 15, 2022 in San Salvador, El Salvador. (Photo by Casa Presidencial El Salvador/Getty Images)

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