Brian Nichols: the decision to allow Bukele’s re-election belongs to the Salvadorans

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Oct 27th, 2023
Brian Nichols
Brian Nichols & Nayib Bukele.

In September 2021, the Constitutional Chamber of El Salvador’s Supreme Court of Justice ruled that a sitting president could run for re-election and serve consecutive presidential terms.

Since that day, Bukele’s opposition has been waiting for a harsher stance from the US Government on Bukele’s potential re-election bid. However, it seems that the more drastic condemnation never arrived, and the US position on the re-election issue has completely changed.

The day after Nayib Bukele registered himself as a presidential candidate for the New Ideas political party with the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, Brian A. Nichols, the US Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, stated that it is up to the Salvadorans to decide whether Bukele should be re-elected.

It deserves a debate on the legality and legitimacy of that process. We already expressed an opinion years ago, but we are already on the eve of the elections and I think it deserves the decision of the Salvadorans on how they are going to continue the development of their democracy. Brian Nichols, Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

“Salvadorans will have the opportunity to express their will at the polls and can decide whether they agree or not agree with re-election.” noted Nichols.

Nichols’s comment differs from the US Government’s 2021 position. Jean Manes, on behalf of the US Government, condemned the Salvadoran Constitutional Chamber’s resolution.

The United States government condemns the decision made on September 3 by the Salvadoran Constitutional Chamber. This decision allows for immediate presidential re-election and is contrary to the Salvadoran constitution, which establishes that immediate re-election is not permitted. Jean Manes.

“This decline in democracy damages the bilateral relationship that the United States strives to have with the government of El Salvador,” added Manes.

Brian Nichols visited El Salvador during President Bukele’s presidential candidacy registration, leaving the opposition hoping for a more assertive stance on re-election.

SEE ALSO: President Bukele’s possible re-election continues to be a hot topic of discussion

Brian Nichols’s statement that the Salvadoran population will express their will on election day regarding re-election has sparked discontent among Bukele’s opposition.

The representative of Joe Biden, whose government not long ago reneged on re-election in El Salvador, took a photo with Bukele hours before the Salvadoran president registered his illegal candidacy. Hector Silva Avalos.

Same country, same government, same facts. But two years later, there are no traces of this conviction. The word of the United States does not even seem to respect itself. Carlos Dada, El Faro.

And it must be said; what painful statements by United States Government officials who, after an apparently innocuous stance, have left their implicit support for an unconstitutional act. The timing of going public is a deliberate decision. Saul Hernandez Alfaro, FocosTV.

Nichols had a two-hour meeting with President Bukele, during which they discussed the Salvadoran mission in Haiti, investment, migration, and due process.

Nichols clarified that there are several areas of collaboration, but there are also significant differences on some issues. Their goal is to work together on common themes while resolving any differences.

The Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the United States, Brian A. Nichols, also met with representatives of the UCA Human Rights Institute (Idhuca) during his visit to El Salvador.