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Candidate of Palestine origin wins Salvador presidency

Baku, February 4, AZERTAC

A candidate of Palestinian origin, Nayib Bukele, won Sunday’s presidential election in El Salvador, clinching over 50 percent of the vote, according to the country’s official electoral board, Anadolu Agency reported.

According to preliminary results (with nearly 90 percent of ballots counted), Bukele, 37, won almost 54 percent of the vote, the electoral board announced late Sunday.

By winning a majority of ballots cast, Bukele, who ran for the center-right Grand Alliance for National Unity (GANA), avoided a runoff poll slated for March.

Carlos Callejas of the center-right Nationalist Republican Alliance won around 32 percent of the vote, while Hugo Martinez of the center-left-leaning Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) won nearly 14 percent of the vote, according to the board.

Businessman Josue Alvarado, meanwhile, reportedly won less than 1 percent of ballots cast.

According to estimates, roughly one third of El Salvador’s approximately 6.5 million people live below the poverty line.

Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing poor living conditions in El Salvador have reportedly joined recent migrant caravans en route to the U.S.

A former mayor of capital San Salvador, Bukele is of Palestinian descent. His father was a prominent businessman and a local imam.

He traces his origin back to a family that immigrated to the Central American country from Palestine at the beginning of the 20th century.

A businessman himself, Bukele served as mayor of San Salvador’s southern Nuevo Cuscatlan municipality in 2012. Three years later, he became the mayor of San Salvador.

Bukele’s election campaign included promises to fight corruption and end gang violence.

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