Upholding Democracy, El Salvador Asserts Equitable Competition in 2024 Elections.

In a recent statement, President Nayib Bukele dismissed opposition claims that the reduction of legislative seats from 84 to 60 would favor the ruling party. He emphasized that the changes, including the elimination of the quotient and remainder system for vote counting, would ensure equal conditions for all parties in the upcoming elections.

President Bukele highlighted that the reduction in the number of seats merely restored the figure to its previous count of 60. The intention was to eliminate the power-sharing arrangement that had been established between the ARENA and FMLN parties. He also questioned the opposition’s argument regarding the valuation of votes, stating, “Does the law state that the votes for Nuevas Ideas are worth twice as much? Or that Nuevas Ideas will require fewer votes to secure a seat?”

Using a hypothetical scenario, the president illustrated that if the recent reforms had dictated that Nuevas Ideas would need 10,000 votes per seat while ARENA required 30,000 votes, then the opposition would indeed have a valid reason for concern. However, he stressed that the law unequivocally stated that every vote carries equal weight. With the reduction in the number of seats, the threshold for securing a seat would increase for all parties.

Addressing the opposition’s concerns about the elimination of the remainder votes in the seat allocation process, President Bukele reminded them that their primary task should be to persuade the population to vote for them. He questioned the opposition’s premature assumptions about the election outcome, asking why they believed the elections had already taken place. He reiterated that they had an equal opportunity to secure more votes than Nuevas Ideas.

President Bukele emphasized that if the traditional parties’ claim that the population is dissatisfied with the government is true, they should be able to secure victory at the ballot box. He urged them to focus on gaining public support rather than lamenting the changes, stating, “If they say we are doing things wrong and that the people are angry with the government and the lawmakers, then they will win. Do they want to win seats? Perfect. What do they need to do? Go and earn the people’s vote. Seats are no longer handed out freely as before; that practice has been abolished.”

As the 2024 elections approach, the president’s assertions highlight the importance of fair competition and the need for parties to engage with voters to earn their support. The changes implemented aim to level the playing field and ensure that each vote holds equal value, ultimately fostering a democratic process that reflects the will of the people.