2024 Presidential Electoral Campaign Begins with a Weakened Opposition Looking to Defeat Bukele

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Oct 5th, 2023

On Tuesday, October 3, the four-month phase in which the candidates for President (2024-2029) can make propaganda officially started. The presidential propaganda period ends on January 31, with Bukele being the candidate to beat given his popularity.

As of October 3, only two presidential formulas have requested registration with the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE). However, presidential candidates have until October 26 to officially register with the TSE.

Today, the electoral campaign for the candidates for the Presidency and Vice Presidency of the Republic officially begins for 4 months; it will conclude three days before the election of February 4.” Dora Esmeralda Martínez, TSE President.

The presidential formulas are New Ideas’ (NI) Nayib Bukele and Felix Ulloa; ARENA’s Joel Sanchez and Hilcia Bonilla; FMLN’s Manuel Flores and Werner Marroquin; Our Time’s (NT) Luis Parada and Celia Medrano; and Solidarity Force’s (FS) Jose Renderos and Rafael Montalvo.

Also, Jose Cardoza and Irma Sosa of the Salvadoran Independent Party (PAIS) and Marina Murillo and Fausto Carranza of the Salvadoran Patriot Fraternity Party (FPS).

Many believe that the electoral campaign begins with a weakened opposition that has no chance of victory. El Faro online newspaper, which regularly critiques Bukele, stated the following:

After the failure to build an opposition alliance, six parties have registered separately to challenge President Nayib Bukele for the power of the Executive, although some of them admit that they are only competing so that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal does not cancel them. EL Faro.

The first presidential survey by the Gavidia University showed how weakened Bukele’s opposition is going into the campaign phase.

According to the survey, Nayib Bukele and Felix Ulloa from the New Ideas political party would get 68.4% of the votes. In second place with a 64.1-point differential are ARENA’s Joel Sánchez and Hilcia Bonilla with 4.3% of the votes.

Even when adding all of Bukele’s opponent’s percentages, 10.1% in total, it wouldn’t be enough to defeat Bukele or force a second round. Undoubtedly, Nayib Bukele has an easy path to a second presidential term.

Based on popularity, it seems that the presidential campaign and elections will be just a formality for the Bukele-Ulloa presidential formula. President Bukele enjoys unprecedented popularity based primarily on his crackdown on crime, which has boosted safety in the country.

It appears that the only subject up for discussion is whether Nayib Bukele should be allowed to compete in the first place. Bukele’s opposition argues that re-election is not permitted under the Salvadoran Constitution.

Article 152 of the Constitution of El Salvador prohibits a person who has held the presidency of the Republic for more than six months in a presidential term from even running as a candidate for president for the next term.” Luis Parada, Nuestro Tiempo’s Presidential Candidate.

Bukele’s opposing presidential candidates argue that the Salvadoran constitution forbids consecutive terms. However, the Salvadoran Constitutional Court ruled in 2021 that a second term was permissible.

Most political analysts agree that Nayib Bukele and Felix Ulloa will win the 2024 elections in the first round of voting. Without a strong opposition, the next elections are seen as an administrative procedure Bukele needs to continue as president.