US expresses concern over El Salvador vote to remove judges

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — The United States says it is gravely concerned over a vote by El Salvador’s new congress to remove magistrates of the constitutional chamber of the Supreme Court. U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke on Sunday to Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele about the vote on Saturday. The State Department says Blinken stressed that ‘’an independent judiciary is essential to democratic governance.″ Blinken also expressed concern about the removal of Attorney General Raúl Melara, saying he was a partner of the U.S. in anti-corruption efforts. Bukele says he is satisfied with the congress’ first session, calling it beginning of the change he has promised for the country. Governing party lawmakers say the court had put private interests above the people’s welfare.