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News > El Salvador

El Salvador: Supreme and Constitutional Courts Wiped Out

  • Legislative Assembly in session, El Salvador, May 2, 2021. 

    Legislative Assembly in session, El Salvador, May 2, 2021.  | Photo: Twitter/ @AsambleaSV

Published 2 May 2021

Bukele's ruling-party wipes out legal barriers to Nayib Bukele's decrees.

In the first session of the newly-elected Legislative Assembly Sunday, El Salvador's ruling party wiped out the entire judiciary: the judges of the Constitutional Chamber, the Supreme Court and Attorney General Raul Melara were all fired.


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The judiciary was punished for objecting to decrees issued by Bukele in fighting Covid-19, media reports say. President Nayib Bukele's New Ideas party won a landslide majority in February's general elections.

The Constitutional Chamber issued a resolution decreeing the judges' deposition as unconstitutional. However, the police took over the Supreme Court facilities and forced the new magistrates in.

On the same day, Attorney General Raul Melara was dismissed under the alleged argument of acting "with clear political motivations, which casts doubt on his objectivity, independence, and impartiality," reads the Parliament's motion. The former chief of the Fighting Organized Crime Unit, Rodolfo Delgado was appointed to the vacancy and is to remain in office until January 2022.

"Democratic governance requires respecting the separation of powers for the good of all Salvadorans," said the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who called President Bukele to express his concern about the recent movements.

The judiciary was the only piece of the political scene that Bukele did not control until today. Both dismissals were approved by 64 votes against 19. 

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