Opinion: El Salvador’s new president faces an uphill struggle

The newly-elected president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, breaks from the last thirty years of FMLN and ARENA rule over the country as his unexpected win under the conservative party, Grand Alliance for National Unity (GANA), won with 54% of the vote in just the first round of elections. Mr. Bukele ran on an anti-corruption platform and relied strongly on social media outlets as a campaign strategy. Through these means he highlighted the hundreds of millions of dollars embezzled by the two presidents before him – Antonio Saca of ARENA and Mauricio Funes of the FMLN. While Mr. Bukele was once a member of the FMLN during his time as mayor of San Salvador, his frequent criticism of the party leadership caused him to splinter off in this new direction. He has made clear that El Salvador must fix its domestic criminal and economic problems, but the greatest challenge to the Central American country will be the possibility of reduced aid from the United States under President Trump’s foreign policies. Without aid from the US, it is unlikely that the flow of migrants out of El Salvador will decrease in any significant way.

Read the full report here.