Salvadoran president rules out allowing abortion, same-sex marriage

FILE PHOTO: El Salvador President Nayib Bukele speaks during a news conference in San Salvador, El Salvador, June 6, 2021. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele said on Friday a raft of constitutional reforms the government will send soon to Congress will not contain decriminalization of abortion, legalization of same-sex marriage or steps to permit euthanasia.

The package of planned measures Bukele received this week from Vice President Felix Ulloa includes the extension and possible early termination of the presidential term and the creation of a new body to replace the electoral tribunal.

"I have decided, to dispel ANY DOUBT, NOT TO PROPOSE ANY KIND OF REFORM TO ANY ITEMS RELATED TO the RIGHT TO LIFE (from the moment of conception), to marriage (keeping only the original design, A MAN AND A WOMAN) or to euthanasia," Bukele wrote on his Facebook account, capitalizing certain parts.

The El Salvador president said he will study the proposals, which were drawn up at Bukele's request by Ulloa with a team of lawyers last year to overhaul human rights legislation, the political and economic system, and the state's judicial structure.

El Salvador has some of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the Americas.

The president's announcement on same-sex marriage and abortion was swiftly flagged by his critics.

"Just in case any dupe still thought Bukele was a modern leader," Jose Miguel Vivanco, executive director of the Americas division of Human Rights Watch, said on Twitter, highlighting the 40-year-old president's words.

Bukele made no mention of the plan to extend the presidential term from five to six years, nor of other contentious measures, nor did he say when they would be sent to Congress, which his party and its allies control.

(Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Editing by Mark Porter)

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