Nayib Bukele: El Salvador’s incoming leader promises ‘new era’

The young politician has blown open El Salvador’s two-party system but can he deliver on his promises?
El Salvador's president-elect Nayib Bukele talks during the presentacion of downtown San Salvador Revitalization Project at the National Theater in San Salvador, El Salvador April 2, 2019.Image copyrightReuters
Image caption Nayib Bukele won the presidency in the first round with 53%

A 37-year-old political outsider who has promised to bring “a new era” to his native El Salvador has been sworn in as the Central American nation’s president.

During his five-year-term Nayib Bukele wants to tackle El Salvador’s legacy of gang violence and corruption.

An avid social media user who projects a youthful, unconventional image, Mr Bukele also wants to break with the left-wing foreign policy alliances his predecessor in office, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, forged.

He says that instead he will prioritise El Salvador’s ties with the United States and closely scrutinise the country’s recently established relations with China.

Change at the top

Mr Bukele’s convincing election victory on 3 February represents a break in the long-running dominance of the two traditional parties in El Salvador.

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