Nayib Bukele

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Nayib Bukele
Nayib Bukele (cropped).jpg
46th President of El Salvador
Assumed office
1 June 2019
Vice PresidentFélix Ulloa
Preceded bySalvador Sánchez Cerén
Mayor of San Salvador
In office
1 May 2015 – 30 April 2018
Preceded byNorman Quijano
Succeeded byErnesto Muyshondt
Mayor of Nuevo Cuscatlán
In office
1 May 2012 – 30 April 2015
Preceded byÁlvaro Rodríguez
Succeeded byMichelle Sol
Personal details
Nayib Armando Bukele Ortez

(1981-07-24) 24 July 1981 (age 38)
San Salvador, El Salvador
Political partyNuevas Ideas
Other political
Nuevas Ideas (2019–present)
GANA (2018–2019)
CD (2018)
FMLN (2012–2017)
Gabriela Rodríguez (m. 2014)
ChildrenLayla Bukele

Nayib Armando Bukele Ortez (born 24 July 1981) is a Salvadoran politician and businessman who became the 46th and current President of El Salvador after winning the 2019 election. He took office on 1 June 2019. Nayib Bukele ran as the candidate of the centre-right GANA party and became the first president since José Napoleón Duarte (1984–1989) to not have been elected as the candidate of one of the country's two major political parties, the FMLN and ARENA.

He was previously elected mayor of Nuevo Cuscatlán on 11 March 2012. He was also elected mayor of San Salvador on 1 March 2015, and took office on 1 May 2015. He contested and won the elections to both public offices under the banner of the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front party.[1]

Escazú Agreement is expected to be signed by Nayib Bukele, President of El Salvador during the World Climate Action Summit on September 23rd, addressing his commitment to work for the environment.

Early life[edit]

Nayib Bukele was born on 24 July 1981, in San Salvador. He is a son of Olga Ortez de Bukele and Armando Bukele Kattán, a prominent businessman and local imam of Palestinian ancestry.[2]

At a very young age, Nayib was recognized for his skills and spirit of entrepreneurship. He ran a company at age 18.[3] According to an article in the digital newspaper El Faro, Nayib Bukele is the owner of Yamaha Motors El Salvador,[4] a company that sells and distributes Yamaha products in El Salvador.[5] He was also the Director and President of OBERMET, S.A. DE C.V.[6]

Mayor of Nuevo Cuscatlán[edit]

On 11 March 2012, he was elected mayor of Nuevo Cuscatlán, in the department of La Libertad, representing a coalition of the FMLN with 2754 votes (49.72%) and CD 108 votes (1.95%), for a total of 2862 votes (50.68%), defeating the incumbent ARENA party, which won 2585 votes (46.67%). He took office on 1 May 2012.[7]

Mayor of San Salvador[edit]

Bukele at the beatification of Óscar Romero, with vice president Óscar Ortiz and his wife.

In the municipal elections of 2015, he won the mayoralty of San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador, representing a coalition of the FMLN with the PSP that won 89,164 votes (50.37% of total). His main challenger, businessman and former deputy Edwin Zamora (ARENA), won 82,288 votes (46.49%). The latter party had controlled the city during the previous six years. Bukele took office on 1 May 2015.[8] In February 2017, Bukele visited Taipei city, the capital of Taiwan, and met Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.[9]

In February 2018, he attended the 32nd International Mayors Conference in Jerusalem,[10] where he was seen praying at the Western Wall,[11] and revealed that his wife's grandfather was a Sephardic Jew.[12]

Expulsion from the FMLN[edit]

On 10 October 2017, Nayib Bukele was expelled from the FMLN, accused by the FMLN Ethics Tribunal of promoting internal division and performing defamatory acts against the political party.[13][14] Nayib Bukele did not attend the hearing scheduled for 7 October 2017 by the FMLN Ethics Tribunal, arguing that they were biased in favor of the plaintiffs.[15]

Election as President[edit]

After Bukele's expulsion from the FMLN, his aspirations towards 2019 moved in the direction of participating in the presidential elections as an independent who rejects the current political system.[16] Nayib Bukele started the movement Nuevas Ideas ("New Ideas") with the goal of making it a political party where he could run as a candidate for the presidency of El Salvador.[17]

Following the announcement of his presidential aspirations, he was opposed by both the ruling FMLN party on the political left, and ARENA on the right as they blocked any attempts for him to found his own political party and politically cancelled any party that he has attempted to use for his candidacy. He eventually joined the centre-right Grand Alliance for National Unity (GANA) party to mount his presidential bid.[18]

On 3 February 2019, Bukele announced that he had won the presidential elections. Challenger Hugo Martínez of the FMLN conceded defeat. He won 53% of the vote, thereby eliminating the need for a run-off election. He is the first candidate to win the presidency since the end of the Salvadoran Civil War who did not represent either of the major two parties. In his victory speech he declared, “Today we have turned the page on the postwar period."[19] Bukele assumed office on 1 June 2019.[20]

Personal life, family and public image[edit]

Bukele with wife Gabriela Rodríguez at a government event. (2014)

Bukele is perceived as a popular millennial politician, although he has been at times criticized for not having concrete political positions to back up his charisma.[2] The son of a Muslim father and a Christian mother, Bukele's religious beliefs were a controversial subject in the 2019 election,[2] with an image surfacing showing Bukele praying at the mosque in Mexico City.[21] Bukele has publicly stated that his family is Roman Catholic and that while his father and several other family members have converted to Islam,[21] he considers himself a believer in God first rather than religion.[22] He has been married to Gabriela Rodríguez since December 2014.

Nayib's brother, Emerson Bukele, is an Imam, the spiritual leader of the Islamic community in El Salvador.[23][24] He took up the position in late 2015 succeeding his father Armando Bukele Kattán.[25][26]


  1. ^ "Biografía". Nayib Bukele.
  2. ^ a b c Marta Rodriguez Martinez & Natalia Oelsner (1 February 2019). "El Salvador: A 'millennial' mayor the favourite to win the next presidential elections". Euro News. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Nayib Bukele el Capitalista mas Popular de la Izquierda Salvadoreña". Retrieved 15 October 2018.[dead link]
  4. ^ Labrador, Gabriel (20 August 2014). "El FMLN abre la puerta grande a Nayib Bukele". El Faro. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Yamaha Motor El Salvador". Yamaha Motors El Salvador. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Elecciones El Salvador 2012 - Concejos Municipales - LA LIBERTAD - NUEVO CUSCATLAN". Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Resultados de Concejos Municipales - TSE". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015.
  9. ^ President Tsai meets Mayor Nayib Bukele of San Salvador 總統接見薩爾瓦多共和國首都聖薩爾瓦多市市長布格磊, Taiwanese Presidential Office, 23 February 2017
  10. ^ "His dad was an imam, his wife has Jewish roots: Meet El Salvador's new leader". The Times of Israel. 7 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Salvadorians elect friend of Israel as their next president". Israel Hayom. 5 February 2019.
  12. ^ "El Salvador's new President is a Palestinian and pro-Israel". Christians United for Israel. 6 February 2019.
  13. ^ "FMLN expulsa a Bukele del partido". El Diario de Hoy. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Nayib Bukele, expulsado del FMLN por estas razones". La Prensa Gráfica. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  15. ^ Rauda Zablah, Arauz, and Valencia, Nelson, Sergio, and Roberto (7 October 2017). "Medas-sólo-por-interés-electorero".htm". El Faro (digital newspaper).CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  16. ^ "El Salvador's New Savior - Upside Down World". Upside Down World. 20 November 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  17. ^ "El futuro de Nuevas Ideas y situación de la Alcaldía". Nayib Bukele. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  18. ^ Esposito, Anthony (18 December 2018). "El Salvador populist holds lead weeks ahead of presidential vote". Reuters. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  19. ^ Palumbo, Gene; Malkin, Elisabeth (3 February 2019). "Nayib Bukele, an Outsider Candidate, Claims Victory in El Salvador Election". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  20. ^ Feb 03, Thomson Reuters · Posted:; February 4, 2019 10:15 PM ET | Last Updated:. "Anti-corruption campaigner set to become El Salvador's next president | CBC News". CBC.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  21. ^ a b "Polémica por imágenes de Bukele en oración Dentro de una Mezquita". Redacción DEM (in Spanish). El Mundo. 8 January 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  22. ^ Aleman, Marcos (30 January 2019). "AP Interview: El Salvador's leading candidate targets graft". The Fresno Bee. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  23. ^ El Imam: padre de familia y pastor de Allah,, Jun 16, 2018
  24. ^ “Los árabes son una raza, musulmán es el que acepta el islam”,, Sept 21, 2019
  25. ^ Emerson Bukele, nuevo imam de la Comunidad Islamica Arabe Salvadoreña,, Dec 17, 2015
  26. ^ Hermano de Bukele inauguró quinta mezquita musulmana,, Nov 4, 2018

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Salvador Sánchez Cerén
President of El Salvador