For the first time in over a quarter-century an outsider presidential candidate is leading the polls in El Salvador. Nayib Bukele, a young former-mayor of the Central American nation’s capital city, is determined to set El Salvador on a course that finally addresses the elephant in the room – corruption – an especially important issue following the recent “firing” of the activist anti-corruption Attorney General, Douglas Melendez.
With less than a week before election day, the leading presidential hopeful decided to discuss his vision with the Associated Press.
Salvadorans have watched as internationally sponsored investigative bodies in neighboring Guatemala and Honduras brought high-profile cases that took down corrupt politicians and businesspeople. Nayib Bukele wants to give his compatriots their own version of that.
Bukele, a young businessman and former mayor of El Salvador’s capital, is the front-runner in Sunday’s presidential election and polls indicate his focus on fighting endemic graft has him well positioned to break the hold of the two parties that have dominated the government for three decades.
If elected, the 37-year-old promises the creation of a Commission Against Impunity in El Salvador, or Cicies for its initials in Spanish. He says he hopes to secure support from abroad for such an effort, as has been the case for Guatemala (the United Nations) and Honduras (the Organization of American States).
“We have said it loud and clear: Regardless of whether it involves someone from our party or any other party, whoever it is, the Cicies will have to act against a corrupt person,” Bukele told The Associated Press in an interview this week.