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2024 – Salvador | Amnesty International ‘concerned’ about constitutional reforms

(San Salvador) Amnesty International said on Friday it was “concerned” by a reform of El Salvador’s constitution approved this week, believing it could have a “negative impact” on respect for human rights. Experts see it as “the consolidation of human rights.” a dictatorial pattern”.

The unicameral parliament, dominated by President Nayib Bukele’s allies in a war against gangs, on Monday approved a controversial amendment to Article 248 of the constitution, allowing accelerating constitutional changes.

This reform “raises concerns about the negative impact it could have on respect for human rights,” the human rights organization said. It “tends to significantly reduce the space for debate and reflection and limit citizens’ participation in issues of public interest,” she adds.

Until now, constitutional reforms had to be approved by “half plus one” of the deputies, and then ratified by two-thirds of the renewed parliament during the next elections.

The new reform will allow deputies to directly ratify constitutional amendments “with the vote of three-quarters” of the 60 deputies of parliament, in which Bukele’s party has 54 seats.

Amnesty noted that the ruling party’s “supermajority” in parliament over the past three years “has been a key element” in “the erosion of judicial independence and the weakening of oversight mechanisms.” and responsibility”.

“The president has a free hand to implement whatever measures he wants, without anything to counterbalance him,” independent analyst Carlos Araujo told AFP, who believes Mr Bukele will be able to “bring constitutional reforms to faith, without analysis, without discussion.”

“It seems to me that the country is moving towards the consolidation of a dictatorial pattern of greater concentration of power,” political analyst Eugenio Chicas told AFP.

Nayib Bukele, who became president in June 2019, won a new five-year mandate in the February 4 elections, in which he won 84.65% of the vote, favored by his brutal war against the ‘maras’, the gangs that terrorized the country . country.

On Tuesday, the government announced that 75% of suspected gang members had been arrested. But human rights groups criticize Nayib Bukele’s methods and denounce arbitrary detentions, ill-treatment, cases of torture and deaths in prison.