SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — A former mayor of El Salvador’s capital was making a strong run Sunday to end a quarter century of two-party dominance in the crime-plagued Central American nation.
Polls ahead of Sunday’s vote put Nayib Bukele ahead of the Nationalist Republican Alliance’s Carlos Callejas and former Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, as well as a minor-party candidate.
But he could fall short of the 50 percent needed to avoid a March runoff.
All four candidates promised to end corruption, stamp out gang violence and create more jobs, with crushing crime at the top of the agenda. Roughly 67,000 Salvadorans belong to gangs that terrorize their communities with extortion, murder and other forms of violence.
The candidates have proposed creating economic opportunities and restoring social values to dissuade Salvadorans from engaging in criminal behavior.
Turnout appeared to be heavy in early voting, with no reports of major problems.