On Wednesday, the Salvadoran Congress approved without prior study to repeal Electoral Code article 291-A, which prohibits making reforms that affect the electoral system one year before electoral processes.
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Before this measure, Congress' deadline for approving those reforms was Feb. 4 since there will be presidential elections on the same date in 2024.
The repeal enables legislators to approve a new administrative division for El Salvador and reduce the number of municipalities ahead of the 2024 elections, just as President Nayib Bukele suggested.
"His administration seeks to concentrate more power," Vamos party lawmaker Claudia Ortiz condemned, recalling that such a repeal was approved because 56 out of 84 legislators are members of the pro-government New Ideas (NI) party.
"This new initiative allows Congress to reform the electoral system even one day before the elections. NI legislators have become lead players who can change all rules," she lamented.
Anabel Belloso, a lawmaker of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), denounced that the NI legislator Christian Guevara made a mistake when submitting the request for repealing article 291-A.
“Guevara alleged that such an article was approved by Decree 413 on July 3, 2013, when in reality it was approved by Decree 391 on May 26, 2016,” she pointed out.
"Situations like this one happen when legislators approve initiatives without reading the relevant documents or understanding their content," Belloso condemned, recalling that Bukele will have to send the request for repeal back to Congress before finally signing it to correct Guevera’s mistake.