Nayib Bukele declares victory as new Salvadoran president

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San Salvador: Nayib Bukele, the popular former mayor of San Salvador, claimed victory Sunday in the Central American country’s presidential elections.

“At this moment we can announce with total certainty that we have won the presidency,” the 37-year-old Bukele told supporters.

A few minutes before his declaration, the country’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) awarded him 52.93 percent of the vote with almost 70 percent of ballots counted.

Bukele’s primary opponents — Carlos Calleja of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), and Hugo Martinez of the leftist Farabundo Marti Front for National Liberation (FMLN) — recognized the win.

The result upends the nearly 30-year grip that their parties — the country’s largest — have had on Salvadoran politics.

“We recognize the results of these elections. We are going to call the president-elect to wish him luck in facing the challenges in this country,” said Calleja, the runner-up with 32.08 percent of the vote.

Martinez took third place with 14.23 per cent.

Bukele has promised to increase investment in education and fight corruption but his main task will be to implement new programs to confront insecurity.

However he will have to form an alliance with the right, which dominates congress.

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