Many heads of state have been criticized by the people for their leadership during the corona virus pandemic, but not by El Salvador’s ‘Millennial’ President, Nayib Bukele.
Although Nayib Bukele (38) has only served for one year as President of El Salvador, his leadership was praised after his courage to take a firm stance in closing the border, even before his country reported a case of the corona virus.
The reason Bukele closed his country early on was quite simple: it was small and had to rise immediately after the corona virus pandemic ended.
His decision, which received praise from the world, had to make him “fight” with the Supreme Court and the National Assembly, especially over allegations of constitutional violations and the reopening of El Savadaro.
Bukele is the first president since the end of Salvador’s civil war in 1992. He is not from one of the two main political parties in the Central American country.
Bukele’s grandparents were from Palestinian immigrants to El Salvador.
When running for president, he was known as a young man who likes to talk on social media and wearing a motorcycle jacket.
The young figure of Bukele is considered able to overcome the problem of corruption and gang violence in El Salvador which has been going on for years.
“Bukele is very focused on completing what he thinks needs to be done, and has little patience for his critics, or for institutions that oppose, slow down, or limit it in acting,” Geoff Thale, president of the Washington Office in Latin America, said in an email interview with CNN, as quoted on Friday (5/22).
“He uses social media to attack his critics, including journalists. He repeatedly attacks the National Assembly – which is dominated by the country’s two main political parties, which ultimately hostile to him.”
The power of social media
With nearly 2 million followers on Twitter and 90 percent of the approval ratings, Bukele leads the country on an “anti-mainstream” basis so that El Salvador gets the world’s attention.
In 2019, he admitted his country assumed responsibility for the conditions that caused migrants to flee after the death of a Salvadoran father and his two-year-old daughter on the banks of the Rio Grande River.
Ahead of his first speech at the UN General Assembly in September, Bukele asked the audience to wait for him to take a selfie. He then said that his photo had a greater impact on the news than in his speech.
But before the corona virus struck, some critics in El Salvador warned that the Bukele style of government was increasingly eroding the separation of powers and threatening the country’s fragile democracy.