{"code":"24003","sect":"Columnas","sect_slug":"columnas","hits":"275","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/en\/202002\/columnas\/24003","link_edit":"","name":"Editorial: No More Coups Against Democracy","slug":"editorial-no-more-coups-against-democracy","info":"","mtag":"Impunity","noun":{"html":"El Faro","data":{"el-faro":{"sort":"","slug":"el-faro","path":"el_faro","name":"El Faro","edge":"0","init":"0"}}},"view":"275","pict":{"cms-image-000032903-jpeg":{"feat":"1","sort":"32903","name":"cms-image-000032903.jpeg","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000032903.jpeg","path":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000032903.jpeg","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000032903-jpeg","text":"<p>President Nayib Bukele speaks at a Heritage Foundation conference in Washington, D.C., on March 13, 2019. (AFP)\u00a0<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003EPresident Nayib Bukele speaks at a Heritage Foundation conference in Washington, D.C., on March 13, 2019. (AFP)\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E"}},"pict_main__sort":32903,"date":{"live":"2020\/02\/09"},"data_post_dateLive_YY":"2020","data_post_dateLive_MM":"02","data_post_dateLive_DD":"09","text":"\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Ca href=\"\/es\/202002\/columnas\/24007\/Maneras-de-dictador.htm\" target=\"_blank\"\u003E\u003Cem\u003ELeer en espa\u00f1ol\u003C\/em\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\t\t\u003Cfigure class=\"pict pict_land pict_move_posc 0 cs_img cs_img--curr rule--ss_c\" data-shot=\"pict\" data-hint=\"pict\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__pobj text-overflow\"\u003E\u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/get_img?ImageWidth=1280&ImageHeight=859&ImageId=32903\" class=\"pobj\" style=\"max-width: 100%\" rel=\"resizable\" alt=\"President Nayib Bukele speaks at a Heritage Foundation conference in Washington, D.C., on March 13, 2019. (AFP)\u00a0\" \/\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__line block edge--ss_lax edge--ss_rax padd--ss_l0x padd--ss_r0x line--ss_s0b lineh rule--ss_c\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"block-inline full-width align-middle lineh__rect tint-back--nake\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u00a0\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cfigcaption class=\"pict__text cs_img_caption folk_content typo_buttons line--ss_s0c line--ss_s0c--auto block full-width text-overflow rule--ss_l relative\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"__content block-inline full-width align-top tint-text--idle relative\"\u003EPresident Nayib Bukele speaks at a Heritage Foundation conference in Washington, D.C., on March 13, 2019. (AFP)\u00a0\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/figcaption\u003E\u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe threats of President Nayib Bukele against the Legislative Assembly, or Salvadoran Congress, his polemical call for an \u201cextraordinary session\u201d to approve a spending bill, as well as his warning that he would charge legislators with unconstitutional conduct if they didn\u2019t attend, lay bare Bukele\u2019s method of exercising power: start with coercion, and then move to force.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EAlong with his irresponsible call for popular insurrection if legislators do not abide by his desires, that he is willing to remove dissenting legislators or entirely dissolve Congress if the body doesn\u2019t bow to his will, underscores the fact that the current President of the Republic wants to govern without the restraints of an independent legislative branch. Even if these threats do not become a reality, they are a grave affront to our republican system, to the independence of separate branches of the government, and to peace of society. The alarm bells of anyone defending democracy in El Salvador should be ringing.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EEstablishing the precedent of Bukele appealing to Article 167 of the Constitution\u2014which permits the convocation of an extraordinary session of the Legislative Assembly\u2014 is plainly absurd. To allow the passing of a spending bill suffice to be motive for the Executive to use constitutional clauses reserved for exceptional circumstances would be to hand over to the President of the Republic the power to convene the Assembly and dictate to them his agenda whenever he feels like it. In the end, all of the matters submitted to the Assembly are, in theory, of national interest, and the majority of laws and policies the country needs passed are of relative urgency.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIt\u2019s a matter of debate if the congress acted responsibly or not in not voting on the spending bill for the president\u2019s 3rd phase of his security plan. But this discussion takes the back seat in light of Nayib Bukele\u2019s incendiary actions and words.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThe swiftness with which once more Bukele has demonstrated the powers of the police and the Army at his service goes far beyond the typical use of popular support he wields to discredit any form of criticism or intimidate his adversaries. Without a doubt, to publicly insult his opponents is an abuse of presidential power, but it becomes something much more disturbing and dangerous when his insults immediately precede an order to revoke personal security teams from all members of the Assembly, as occured on Friday night.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe president has the authority to use the legal resources at his disposal to advance his political agenda, which is what the majority of citizens voted for. What the president does not have the authority to do is sow divisions, threaten legislators with public lynchings, threaten the Assembly with scoldings, call for insurrection, or use public security forces and the Army to further his own interests. To find the entrance to the Assembly surrounded by soldiers blocking access to journalists, as took place on Saturday afternoon, while other soldiers were erecting a platform where Bukele sought to advance his interests surrounded by a mass of sympathizers is a call back to an earlier period of Central American, an era in which the Army was a tool of political and economic interests instead of the protector of national sovereignty.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ECertainly it is not the first time since the Peace Accords\u2014the 1992 pact that ended more than a decade of bloody Civil War\u2014that tensions have flared between branches of the government. The last affront to the division of powers was instigated by rightwing legislators who, with the complicity of the FMLN party and headed by the former head of the Assembly\u2014the fugitive Sigfrido Reyes\u2014sought to feign ignorance of the law and remove judges they didn\u2019t like from the Constitutional Chamber. Luckily, they failed to achieve their aims.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp\u003EToday, as the government\u2019s division of power is again under threat, we must call for sanity, for the clear and public announcement from all politicians and all of Salvadoran civil society, that when the balance of powers and the system of checks and balances is in jeopardy, petty political differences must be set aside. We must call out excesses of power. We must reaffirm pluralism and settle our differences through established institutional channels.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIn just nine months in power, Bukele has shown multiple worrying signs that steer his administration away from commitments to democracy and the constitutional separation of powers. His insistence\u2014beginning during his campaign and ever more loudly once in office\u2014of proclaiming himself as the redeemer of the party system and the only leader of a new era of politics, should concern us all, should drive us to call out any further steps in that direction. His popularity, which he leans on to threaten, defame, pressure, or punish critics and opposition members\u2014whether they be politicians, business owners, journalists, or analysts\u2014is quickly turning into populism.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIn light of these recent events, we call for voices of calm and respect, as well as a commitment to the defence of a country in which dissent thrives along with order. Salvadoran society is a fragile democracy that needs to be reinforced, not torn down. It is in this same democracy, and in the strength of its institutions, that allowed Nayib Bukele to reach the office of the presidency. If he does not defend this country and its institutions, the citizens should take up that mantle with their words, with their participation, and with their criticism. We do not want any more coups against democracy.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E"}