Nayib Bukele has stepped down from his position as the President of El Salvador ahead of his re-election campaign, following approval from the country’s Legislative Assembly. This move allows him to take a leave of absence to focus on campaigning for the 2024 elections.

In his place, Acting President Claudia Rodríguez de Guevara, the first female head of state in El Salvador, assumed office on December 1 and is expected to serve until June 2024. The next general election is scheduled for February 2024.

Upon assuming the presidency in June 2019, Bukele garnered attention for his initiatives to curb the nation’s elevated homicide rate. Simultaneously, he became known for endorsing pro-crypto policies.

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One significant milestone was achieved through his instrumental role. In September 2021, he played a key part in passing legislation. This legislation officially recognized Bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador.

Furthermore, Bukele championed the concept of creating a ‘Bitcoin City,’ envisioned to be powered by a volcano within the country’s borders.

Despite a substantial drop in the homicide rate during Bukele’s tenure, critics express concerns. They accuse the government of violating human rights laws, particularly in its approach to addressing gang activity.

UN Report Exposes Rights Abuses in El Salvador’s Post-2022 Mass Detentions

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A March report from the United Nations human rights office highlighted instances of “mass detentions” since 2022, resulting in mistreatment and deaths in custody.

The presidency in El Salvador has a five-year term. Before September 2021, the country’s constitution mandated a ten-year waiting period for presidents seeking re-election. However, a Supreme Court ruling in September 2021 allowed a president to serve two consecutive terms.

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