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El Salvador: Initial polls show Nayib Bukele to win reelection

Exit poll data show Nayib Bukele’s Nuevas Ideas party securing 87% of votes, with official numbers expected shortly.



Source: Cointelegraph

The pro-Bitcoin Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele is widely expected to win a second term in office, with early voting data indicating his party will win 87% of the votes — though the final results are yet to be released.

Official results as of Feb. 5, at 5:30 am UTC, from the country’s electoral authority, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), show Bukele’s Nuevas (New) Ideas party has a commanding lead of over 1.1 million votes with 31.5% of the vote counted.

New Ideas is closing in on 1.3 million votes, followed by just over 110,000 for Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) candidate Manuel Flores, while nearly 97,000 votes have gone to the Nationalist Republican Alliance (Arena) candidate Joel Sánchez.

Translated initial results show Bukele’s New Ideas part with a significant early lead. Source: TSE

Earlier, CID Gallup reported exit polls showed Bukele’s party received 87% of the votes, with Flores and Sanchez taking 7% and 4%, respectively. If Bukele maintains the lead, he will be sworn in as president for a new five-year term and serve until 2029.

In an X post, Bukele proclaimed victory before any official results were announced. He said internal party data shows he had won the election with more than 85% of the votes and at least 58 of 60 deputies in the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador. 

An X post from Bukele about the expected results of El Salvador’s election. Source: X

A spokesman for the country’s National Bitcoin Office told Cointelegraph that it expects an even higher proportion of votes going to Bukele once the official results are out. 

Bukele made Bitcoin BTC $43,318 legal tender in El Salvador in September 2021, among other initiatives supporting the cryptocurrency.

On Feb. 1, Vice President Félix Ulloa reportedly confirmed Bukele’s Bitcoin strategy wouldn’t change if he is reelected.

The Salvadoran president is also known for his crackdown on gang crime. In 2023, Amnesty International criticized Bukele’s leadership for an “alarming regression” in the protection of human rights, which risks replacing gang violence with “state violence.”

Bukele’s campaign for a second term has also been met with controversy.

Several critics, such as Salvadoran lawyer Alfonso Fajardo, have argued the country’s constitution prohibits Bukele from seeking a second consecutive term.

“Today is a good day to remember that immediate presidential re-election is prohibited up to 7 times by the Constitution,” Fajardo said when news broke that Bukele filed paperwork to run again in October 2023.

El Salvador has been touted as potentially becoming the “Singapore of the Americas” by VanEck strategy adviser Gabor Gurbacs, who expects more investment capital and immigration to flow into the country in the coming years.

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