El Salvador's President Calls Himself Dictator on Twitter Following Protests Against His Government

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele has called himself as a "dictator" on his social media profile after thousands gathered to protest against his government.

The 40-year-old leader recently changed his Twitter bio to "dictator of El Salvador" after it previously said "Layla's dad," the name of his daughter.

It is unclear whether his account has been hacked or if President Bukele made the change himself.

The change to President Bukele's Twitter bio has been the subject of debate online, with several accounts questioning whether he is trolling or whether it justifies claims that he is an authoritarian leader.

The Salvadoran leader has shared memes of himself with laser eyes—a trend among people who use cryptocurrencies—and has been known for trolling detractors, including a September 19 tweet where he shared images of people being arrested, adding: "Bukele dictator. Ah no, it's in Australia."

But critics believe Bukele has concentrated too much power within El Salvador by weakening the independence of the country's courts and are concerned he might seek reelection for a consecutive term—something that was not permitted.

Earlier in September, El Salvador's top court said serving presidents could serve two terms—opening up a pathway for President Bukele to stand for reelection in 2024, according to Reuters.

The news agency added the ruling was made by justices appointed by lawmakers from President Bukele's ruling party and after the previous ones were removed.

Last week, Salvadorans marched in the capital San Salvador against President Bukele's move with some also protesting his decision to make cryptocurrency Bitcoin legal tender in the country.

According to The Associated Press, some marchers wore T-shirts that said "no to Bitcoin," while others smashed ATMs that handle transactions made in Bitcoin.

Taking to Twitter, President Bukele said of the demonstrators: "They say the 'vandalism' was the work of 'infiltrators,' but there has been vandalism in all their demonstrations.

"And why weren't there any shouts of 'stop.' or 'don't do that?'"

There had been significant issues with the rollout of the Bitcoin scheme in El Salvador, the first nation in the world to make the cryptocurrency legal tender, with citizens having problems using the machines.

Despite the issues surrounding Bitcoin usage and criticism of what many perceive to be authoritarian moves, Bukele has enjoyed high poll ratings since he was elected to office in 2019 following his pledges to clamp down on corruption within the country.

El Salvador
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele delivers a press conference at a hotel in San Salvador, on February 28, 2021. Bukele called himself a "dictator" on social media. STANLEY ESTRADA/AFP via Getty Images