Political crisis in El Salvador following the expulsion of Supreme Court judges

It causes a political storm in El Salvador Congressional decision to oust Supreme Court justices deemed hostile to President Najib Boukele, a decision that the opposition has called an institutional coup and is already causing international concern.

The president’s New Ideas party, which secured an absolute majority in the national delegation in the February midterm elections, ousted all members of the Supreme Court Constitutional Committee shortly after the formation of Congress on Saturday. had taken “arbitrary” decisions and that it hindered the implementation of the head of state’s policy to deal with the new coronavirus pandemic, endangering public health.

Parliament also voted in favor of ousting its attorney general El Salvador, by Raoul Melara, who was considered affiliated with one of the opposition parties.

“And the people of El Salvador, through their representatives, said, ‘Get out!’ Celebrated via Twitter, writing the last word in all capital letters, Mr. Boukele, in power since 2019 in the Central American country.

The president has repeatedly clashed with the traditional political class, which has been devalued by a series of corruption scandals.

Popular for expressing his desire to crack down on organized crime and insecurity, the 39-year-old president has been confronted several times by both the Supreme Court and the Attorney General.

The ousted judges, whose replacements will soon be appointed by a majority in Congress, have refused to step down, calling the parliament’s decision “unconstitutional.”

The opposition, both the right-wing ARENA party and the Farabudo Marti Front for National Liberation (FMLN, left, former guerrilla movement) denounced a concerted attempt at an institutional coup.

“What happened in parliament tonight by the majority elected by the people is a coup,” said Rene Portillo, an ARENA MP.

“Our parliamentary group will not be complicit in this coup,” said Anvel Beygoso, a FMLN colleague.

NGOs are ringing the alarm bell.

“This is a very dangerous situation,” said the president’s party, “playing with fire” and “the crisis may escalate to such an extent that we will not be able to get out of it,” said Miguel Montenegro. Rights.

“Boukele is at odds with the rule of law and is seeking to concentrate all power in his hands,” said Jose Miguel Vivanco, executive director of Human Rights Watch.

State Department spokeswoman Julie Chang warned: “The existence of a strong relationship between the United States and El Salvador will depend on the will of the Salvadoran government to uphold the separation of powers and to abide by democratic rules.”