Sunday, June 13

The Secretary General of the OAS rebukes Nicaragua for not allowing free elections


Correspondent in Mexico City

Updated:

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The control of the Administration and the lack of electoral Justice put the Government of Nicaragua before the elections for next November without guarantees for a free process and between equals.

The Organization of American States (OAS), through Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the body that ensures equal opportunities in America by strengthening democracy, development, security and human rights, has stressed that, despite calls from the international community to allow democratic reinstitutionalization in Nicaragua with fair, free and transparent elections, the regime has not demonstrated political will to implement reforms.

The President of Nicaragua, José Daniel Ortega Saavedra, has been in power since January 2007 by the Sandinista National Liberation Front party, which contemplates 13 years in power, but three years of socio-political crisis in the Central American country since it faced social protests in which they lost their lives 320 protesters with more than 2,000 injured and strong political opposition for reform in the social security system. In a government made up of his wife Rosario Murillo as vice president and in which some of her children are included in the Executive Power.

Young people protest in demand for unity of the political forces during a press conference this week in Managua
Young people protest in demand for unity of the political forces during a press conference this week in Managua – Efe

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Acnudh) released a report, in August 2019, in which it points to the Ortega government as responsible for human rights violations such as torture, obstruction of medical care, arbitrary detentions, kidnappings, sexual violence, among other facts. But, now is the OAS the one that is positioned against the Nicaraguan government as a result of the approval, last week, by the Sandinista-majority Parliament of a related Supreme Electoral Council and the prohibition of free and fair voting next November.

“Despite repeated calls from the international community to allow a democratic reinstitutionality that provides guarantees for the participants” in free and democratic elections, the government has not shown political will to adopt the corresponding electoral measures and reforms, Almagro assured. The summary is a prolonged breach of the rule of law in Nicaragua. From the highest authorities of the State, a narrative persists “tending to deny human rights violations and stigmatize the victims.” Impunity is rampant throughout the country with restrictions on freedom of expression, association and participation in public affairs.

Repression and unfulfilled agreements

A drama that forces more than 100,000 people to emigrate as a result of the repression in their country. In 2017, the OAS General Secretariat signed agreements with the Government of Nicaragua to achieve a electoral reform that would allow democratic voting. Despite the government’s signature, “the agreements were repeatedly breached,” they clarify from the institution.

The Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro
The Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro – Efe

The accumulation of non-compliances shows a lack of interest in recovering the democratic and institutional path in Nicaragua. This is indicated by the approval of a new Supreme Electoral Council that supports the Government and an electoral reform for the elections, of the November 7 next, which prevents the participation of observers, prohibits electoral financing and prevents the presentation of opposition candidates who have supported international sanctions against the regime, who will be considered traitors to the homeland, and who have intervened in the 2018 protests.

These laws have come to undermine the already battered democratic path in the Nicaraguan nation. According to the OAS, the objective is to restrict political rights to eliminate electoral competition. The Organization of American States seeks to negotiate with both the Nicaraguan Government and the opposition actors so that there are measures for an urgent electoral reform to promote free and fair elections.

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