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Weekly Report - 21 May 2020 (WR-20-20)

EL SALVADOR: State of emergency sparks fresh institutional crisis

In response to a question about El Salvador at a recent press briefing, Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General, said the latter had “urged governments to implement emergency measures that are legal, proportionate, necessary”. His remarks come as President Nayib Bukele’s insistence on declaring a new state of emergency in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic despite the legislature’s refusal to ratify it (a legal requirement) and an unfavourable ruling by the supreme court’s constitutional chamber (SC) are threatening a fresh constitutional crisis. It would seem just the latest sign of Bukele’s apparent disregard for institutional process and willingness to take authoritarian steps following his deployment of the military in February to pressure legislators [WR-20-06] and his defiance of other SC rulings relating to the pandemic [WR-20-16].

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