The people of Salvador are voting. An election On Sunday, the self-described “world’s best dictator” is widely expected to elect Vice President Bokel for a second term.

El Salvador’s constitution prohibits re-election, but supporters have largely dismissed such concerns. Nor has his popularity been hampered by accusations of cover-up. System of El Salvador Checks and balances when dealing with gang violence.

President of El Salvador

El Salvador’s Vice President Nayeb Buquel speaks during the inauguration of a new Vajusa Laboratories plant in La Libertad, El Salvador on November 20, 2023. (Alex Pina/Getty Images)

Bokel’s administration has arrested more than 76,000 people in a nearly two-year crackdown on gangs. Although Crime is downand Salvadorans have retaken their neighborhoods, with mass arrests criticized for lacking due process.

El Salvador’s traditional parties from the left and right, which created the first-ever filling vacuum in 2019, are still reeling. Presidential candidates from the conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) and the leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) are polling in low single digits.

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Bockel has gained notoriety for his brutal crackdown on gangs, arresting more than 1% of the country’s population.

While his administration has been accused of widespread human rights abuses, violence has also declined in what was considered one of the world’s most dangerous countries just a few years ago.

Voters of El Salvador

A voter wears a T-shirt supporting President Nayeb Buquel, who is running for re-election, at a polling station during general elections Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, in San Salvador, El Salvador. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)

Because of this, many voters have largely ignored concerns that Bockel has taken undemocratic steps to concentrate power. Since Bokel began his crackdown, that fear has faded.

Buckel has not made any public appearances in the race for Sunday’s vote. Instead, he hammered home the message through social media and television ads that a crackdown on gangs would be in jeopardy if his New Ideas party did not win.

“The opposition will be able to achieve its real and only plan, to free the gang members and use them to return to power,” he said.

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