El Salvador's 'all-powerful' gang-busting President Bukele sworn in for second term

El Salvador's gang-busting President Nayib Bukele was sworn in for a second term Saturday, more popular – and more powerful – than ever.

Raising his hand at the National Palace in the capital San Salvador, the 42-year-old took the oath of office in front of a packed crowd.

Bukele is set to govern for another five years with near-total control of parliament and other state institutions after his New Ideas party dominated in legislative polls on the back of a brutal but popular gang crackdown.

Invited to the ceremony were ideological allies like Argentine President Javier Milei and Donald Trump Jr, son of the former US president.

Bukele, who unapologetically describes himself as a "cool dictator," enjoys sky-high approval ratings due to his heavy handed campaign against criminal gangs, credited with returning a sense of normalcy to a violence-fatigued society.

The campaign has drawn criticism from rights groups, but has made Bukele the most popular leader in Latin America, according to a regional poll, and the envy of many peers.

He was reelected in February with 85 percent of the vote.

Read moreNayib Bukele, El Salvador's autocratic president, takes on criminal gangs

Social media whiz Bukele has laughed off criticism of his authoritarian tendencies.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
El Salvador's Bukele claims 'record' reelection win after gang crackdown
'Peace, tranquility, freedom': El Salvador looks set to re-elect popular 'dictator' Bukele
El Salvador releases over 3,000 arrested in anti-gang laws sweep