What are four of the top issues President Nayib Bukele might prioritize in his first six months in office?
Two months after President Nayib Armando Bukele assumed office, the thirty-seven-year-old, media-savvy former mayor of San Salvador has been making waves as he attempts to break away from El Salvador’s post-civil-war political order, sending early signals of how he will steer the Central American nation. Delivering on his ambitious campaign promises, however, will not be a smooth endeavor. While he garnered more votes than all other candidates combined in a first-round landslide that ended a three-decade two-party system, President Bukele’s optimistic vision and change agenda will be tested both in the opposition-dominated Congress and with millions of Salvadorans who, even with a third-way candidate in power, still hold deep-seated resentment and disillusionment with their country’s politics and institutions.
Running as the anti-establishment candidate under the coalition Grand Alliance for National Unity (GANA), Bukele obtained 53 percent of the votes and won in every departamento, or state. His closest opponent, the coalition Alliance for a New Country (APNP), led by the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), got 32 percent, and the ruling Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) took 14 percent.
President Bukele’s mandate is clear: to deliver on the change Salvadorans want. The youngest president in Latin America, President Bukele has been an early symbol of hope and optimism for El Salvador, the region, and the United States as it seeks to stem irregular migration to its southern border. As he continues to settle into office, what policies from his proposed Plan Cuscatlán should his administration prioritize? From combatting corruption and cracking down on organized crime and insecurity, to creating economic opportunities and attracting foreign investment, how will President Bukele’s administration balance delivering on short-term needs along with long-term structural reforms?