El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has filed the necessary paperwork for re-election in the country’s 2024 presidential election.
The national election is scheduled for February 2024.
Bukele, known otherwise by the moniker of the “Bitcoin President”, garnered significant public backing during his ascent to power in 2019.
His appointment marked the end of three decades of two-party rule dominated by the Nationalist Republican Alliance and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMNLB).
His political party, Neuva Ideas, enjoys overwhelming support.
This research was done by a Salvadoran university, namely, Universidad Francisco Gavida (UFG) in conjunction with two other university-led organisations – Disruptiva, and Centro De Estudios Ciudadanos (Centre for Citizen Studies)
The study indicates it has the backing of close to 70% of the country’s voters, while its closest competitor only secured 4% of the total votes.
Interestingly, the Salvadoran President fancies himself on his X (formerly known as Twitter) profile as the “Philosopher King”, a concept rooted in Plato’s Republic.
And perhaps there is some truth in that.
Bukele has admitted to his strong stance against the multi-national gang MS-13, which had contributed to El Salvador’s record-high homicide rates six years ago.
In 2022, the gang murdered eighty-seven people in three days in a senseless act of violence.
In just two days, Bukele instituted a “state of exception”, which allowed the authorities to arrest anyone they considered suspicious.
Over 75,000 suspected gang members have been arrested to date.
People arrested under this scheme were not given a chance for a legal defense.
If the ends justified the means, heavy-handed approaches to the country’s safety has led it to witness a 92.6% reduction in its homicide rate, dropping from 106 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2015 to just 7.8 in 2022.
The country now boasts one of the lowest crime rates in Latin America.
Bukele’s monetary approach, on the other hand, has been nothing close to the statist idea of the Philosopher King.
In an act to liberate the tech sector, the Bukele administration has introduced tech-friendly policies designed to bolster the nation’s economy, including the elimination of taxes on technological innovations.
In terms of monetary policy, El Salvador distinguishes itself from countries grappling with high inflation by not directly printing money.
Instead, the country actively and freely participates in the Bitcoin mining sector, leveraging on its natural resources.
Earlier this year, Bukele announced that El Salvador would purchase 1 Bitcoin per day.
Tron founder Justin Sun soon echoed that sentiment, committing to same idea.
As of writing, El Salvador has not announced any of their bitcoin addresses to the public.
In a recent assessment by J.P. Morgan, Fitch upgraded El Salvador’s credit rating from CCC to CCC+, reflecting its improving economic and political outlook.