El Salvador’s Bukele celebrates major election win

SAN SALVADOR — El Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele declared a major victory in legislative elections, citing a projection that his party and allies won more than two-thirds of seats in what would be the biggest majority in the history of the nation’s Congress.

“Historic! Thank you Salvadoran people. Thank God,” Bukele said late on Monday night, tweeting a graphic that projected his party and ally GANA would take 61 of 84 seats.

A preliminary count by electoral authorities showed Bukele’s New Ideas party and its allies had some 70% of the vote in the congressional election, but the seat distribution will not be known until a final count that will take several days.

Bukele, 39, is one of the world’s youngest leaders. He won a landslide victory in 2019 on a pledge to root out corruption, but has faced criticism from rights groups and foreign powers for what they see as autocratic leanings.

With the landslide results, the New Ideas party will have a sweeping ability to elect an attorney general and Supreme Court judges, and approve budgets and constitutional reforms in the Central American nation. (Reporting by Nelson Renteria; writing by Cassandra Garrison; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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