About 4.4 million Nicaraguans were invited to vote to elect the president and vice president, with 90 delegates before the National Assembly and 20 before the Central American Parliament (Parlesen).
Those elections will take place amid the arrests of nearly forty opposition leaders, business leaders, farmers, students and independent professionals, seven of whom wanted to run for the presidency with Ortega.
In addition, without the participation of the three opposition political parties, the illegal occupation of more than 150 “political prisoners”, tens of thousands of Nigerians deported for security or economic reasons, and more than 50 voluntary charities with the police stopped the spread of the influential newspaper La Prசாnza.
The process has been called into question by organizations such as the Organization of American States (OAS), the European Union (EU) and the US Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), as well as Nicaraguan opposition to the exclusion.
This is the first general election since the popular uprising that erupted in 2018 over controversial social security reforms, which later turned into a demand for the resignation of President Ortega because he responded forcefully.
According to the IACHR, the protests, classified as an attempt by the administrator, killed at least 328 people, although local organizations raised the number to 684, with the government approving 200.
Nicaragua is a police state
According to the IACHR, anti-government protests were suppressed by police and surveillance groups under the command of the president, under their supreme leadership, by the use of deadly force.
Since then, the state of Nicaragua, under the autonomous body of the OAS, has established a police state under the tight control of the Sandinistas to quell dissent and close democratic gaps.
Among other things, it has arbitrarily detained and taken away the freedom of people who are considered protesters, classified public demonstrations as illegal, and seized them by the force facilities of human rights organizations and the independent media, he noted.
In addition, the National Assembly, in full compliance with the executive, approved a set of laws that would further close democratic gaps and restrict the freedom of expression of the opposition, he said.
IACHR: Ordega is trying to stay in power
Entitled “Nicaragua: Concentration of Power and Weakening the Rule of Law”, the IACHR believes that these measures, promoted after the April 2018 protests, were intended to prevent opposition parties from participating in elections. Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo without contest in the election round ”.
Therefore, according to the IACHR, elections in Nicaragua take place “in the context of these repressive and democratic closures,” in which Ordega seeks to remain in power indefinitely and maintain repression, corruption, concessions and exemptions. “Electoral fraud and impunity.”
“The great challenge is to find formulas with the participation of civil society to ensure the general guarantee of democratic rights and the restoration of democratic freedoms and the conditions for the holding of free and fair elections through the separation of powers,” he said.
For Nicaragua watchdog Urnaz Aberdeas, Ortega is expecting a third consecutive re-election with a “malicious plan to end democracy.”
Nicaragua’s situation is “unsustainable”
For his part, Ticiano Preda, a Central American analyst with the International Crisis Group, told Efe that prolonging the crisis in Nicaragua would have both domestic and international consequences.
At the domestic level, he said, deepening the social and political rifts that opened or reopened in 2018, “with the risk of a resumption of tensions in the form of political intolerance or demonstrations.”
In addition, a non-competitive or transparent election would block access to international resources and investment, giving birth to a small legitimate government, thus emphasizing Nicaragua’s economic problems, which could lead to a further increase in regional immigration and even the United States. , Warned ..
According to the analyst, Nicaragua’s situation is not medium- and long-term, and although Ortega is aware of it, “for him, survival in power seems to be more than any calculation of political stability.” EFE