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Palestinian origin Nayib Bukele elected as President of El Salvador

SAN SALVADOR: A man of Palestinian origin, Nayib Bukele, was elected a President of El Salvador in the Sunday presidential election.

The official electoral board announced that Bukele clinched over 50 per cent of the vote.

Reports said that with nearly 90 per cent of ballots counted, Bukele polled almost 54 per cent of the vote.

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

Carlos Callejas of the centre-right Nationalist Republican Alliance won around 32 per cent of the vote, while Hugo Martinez of the centre-left-leaning Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) won nearly 14 per cent of the vote.

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.

Bukele, who has remained mayor of capital San Salvador, 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. During his election campaign, Bukele promised to fight corruption and end gang violence.