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El Salvador votes for continuity and crypto under Bukele’s leadership

Nayib Bukele, celebrated for his pro-bitcoin stance and aggressive crime-fighting policies, is poised to secure a second term as El Salvador’s president, with exit polls showing his “Nueva Ideas” party commanding an 87% lead in the recent elections.

The remarkable margin suggests Bukele could continue to lead until 2029, highlighting the electorate’s strong approval of his governance.

Bukele himself has claimed victory in a Feb. 5 X post, stating his party won over 85% of the vote and secured at least 58 of the 60 assembly seats, reflecting significant legislative support.

Despite his popularity, Bukele’s eligibility for reelection sparked controversy. Critics, including Salvadoran lawyer Alfonso Fajardo, argue that the constitution explicitly prohibits consecutive presidential terms, raising constitutional questions about his candidacy.

Human rights have also been a contentious issue during Bukele’s tenure. While his crackdown on gangs has been credited with reducing violence, organizations like Amnesty International have criticized his methods, warning of an “alarming regression” in human rights protections and the potential for state violence to replace gang violence.

On the economic front, Bukele’s administration has been pioneering in its embrace of Bitcoin (BTC).

El Salvador made headlines in 2021 as the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, a move that Bukele believes will attract investment and modernize the economy.

Despite skepticism from some international observers, including the International Monetary Foundation (IMF), Bukele has doubled down on this strategy. His government has accumulated a significant Bitcoin portfolio, reported at a value of $131 million and a profit of $3.6 million as of early December last year.

Further solidifying his vision for a digital economy, Bukele introduced the “Freedom Visa,” which is aimed at attracting investors through a residency or citizenship program for those willing to invest in Bitcoin or USDT. The initiative, along with plans for bitcoin-backed “Volcano bonds” to fund renewable energy-powered bitcoin mining, reflects an ambitious agenda to position El Salvador as a leader in cryptocurrency innovation.

Last week, Vice President Félix Ulloa reportedly reiterated the government’s commitment to bitcoin, ensuring the continuity of Bukele’s digital currency policies.

Meanwhile, observers like Vaneck strategy adviser Gabor Gurbacs have optimistically compared El Salvador’s potential transformation under Bukele to becoming the “Singapore of the Americas,” highlighting expectations for increased investment and immigration to flow into the country in the coming years.

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