The New Ideas party, founded by Bukele and candidate for the election for the first time, won 56 seats, while the Grand Alliance for National Unity (GANA), through which it came to power, won five seats in the elections. February 28, according to the final results released Friday by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE).
Bukele is a harsh critic of El Salvador’s traditional parties, which he accuses of having abandoned the victims of the country’s civil war from 1980 to 1992.
His detractors accuse him of authoritarianism.
The new politicians will sit on May 1, and with an absolute majority in parliament, Bukele will have much greater power over legislation.
The populist leader will now be able to appoint judges to the Supreme Court and the prosecutor’s office – institutions he has clashed with.
He will be the first president in nearly three decades to have a majority in Congress.
The 39-year-old, one of the world’s youngest leaders, won a landslide victory as president in 2019 on pledge to eradicate corruption, but has come under fire from rights groups and foreign powers for what they see as autocratic tendencies.
Allies of Bukele, a former mayor of the capital, San Salvador, also claimed 179 of the 262 mayoral races that were up for grabs, according to the final tally.
Elected in 2019 for a five-year term, Bukele struggled to get his platform approved in a parliament dominated by two opposition parties – the right-wing arena and the left-wing FMLN, which had alternated power since the end. of the civil war in El Salvador.
Bukele has vowed to take on the country’s two most notorious gangs: Barrio 18 and MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha), the second of which has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States.
Until 2019, El Salvador was considered one of the most violent countries in the world that was not actively at war, but the murder rate plummeted under Bukele’s tenure.