Salvador: President Bukele refuses to include abortion and gay marriage in new constitution

El Salvador’s constitutional reform will not include therapeutic abortion and same-sex marriage. “I have decided, so that there is no doubt, not to propose any reform of any kind to any article [de la Constitution] which has to do with the right to life [depuis le moment de la conception], with marriage [homosexuel] or with euthanasia “President Nayib Bukele said on his Facebook page. The day before, he received the constitutional reform project drawn up at his request by Vice-President Félix Ulloa.

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The Head of State decided to remove from the text the reference to marriage between “Spouses” which replaced the marriage between ” a man and a woman “, as mentioned in the current Constitution.

Likewise, he rejected the passage which recognizes “The right to life, both of the unborn child and of the pregnant mother”, which paved the way for therapeutic abortion when the mother’s life is in danger.

Salvadoran penal code prohibits abortion in all cases and provides for sentences of up to eight years in prison. However, prosecutors and judges classify cases of abortion, including involuntary, as “Aggravated homicide”, punishable by up to 50 years in prison.

On Sunday, the Episcopal Conference of El Salvador (Cedes) had stigmatized the envisaged reforms relating to abortion, euthanasia or marriage between persons of the same sex.

A “purge” against independent magistrates

On the other hand, the president, in power since 2019, has not expressed opposition to the extension of the presidential mandate from five to six years, from the next election in 2024. Mr. Bukele could stand in this election thanks to to a recent judgment of the constitutional judges which overturns the rule so far in force prohibiting a president from running for a second consecutive term.

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Mr. Bukele also promulgated, Friday, two decrees that force judges and prosecutors to retire ex officio at age 60 or after 30 years of service.

“The exercise of the function of magistrate and judge ceases when the persons occupying these positions reach the age of 60 years”, reports the first decree, approved on August 31 by Parliament where the Head of State holds an overwhelming majority. “The career of a prosecutor will come to an end when the people concerned reach 60 years old”, according to the second decree. The new rule does “Does not apply to judges of the Supreme Court”, is it specified.

Judge Juan Antonio Duran, who leads a movement in opposition to this measure, denounced Friday at a press conference a “Purge” targeting independent magistrates.

On Wednesday, thousands of Salvadorans demonstrated to demand that Mr. Bukele respect the separation of powers.

The World with AFP

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