Daniel Ortega: America rejects the Nicaraguan elections: “They do not have democratic legitimacy” | International

The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, along with his wife and vice president, Rosario Murillo, last Monday, in Managua.
The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, along with his wife and vice president, Rosario Murillo, last Monday, in Managua.CESAR PEREZ (AFP)

Daniel Ortega’s regime suffered a strong diplomatic setback this Friday. The OAS General Assembly, which has been organized in Guatemala, has voted in favor of a resolution that establishes that last Sunday’s elections, in which Ortega was re-elected with 75% of the votes, “do not have democratic legitimacy. ”And orders the Permanent Council of that continental body to carry out a“ collective assessment ”of the political crisis in Nicaragua, the conclusions of which must be presented before November 30. The Managua delegation rejected this resolution, while seven countries have abstained from voting, including Mexico. Luz Elena Baños, Mexican representative to the OAS, has reported that she has expressed her concern to the Ortega government about the political situation in Nicaragua, but that her country has remained on the sidelines during the vote following the non-intervention guidelines of the call Estrada Doctrine.

Nicaragua held a disputed presidential election on Sunday in which Daniel Ortega participated without real political competition after having imprisoned the seven opposition candidates, in addition to arresting dozens of critics. Ortega controls the entire electoral apparatus and Parliament, which approved electoral reforms tailored to the president and took the opposition out of the political game. The opponents have considered that the elections were a “farce” and at least 40 countries have rejected the results, among them the United States, Spain, the members of the European Union and several Latin American nations.

The abstention of Honduras in this Friday’s vote was eloquent. The Government of Juan Orlando Hernández has become a strategic ally of the Ortega regime, with which it has signed treaties to delimit the borders of both countries in the Gulf of Fonseca and the Caribbean, in an initiative that has unnerved El Salvador, that maintains a dispute for spaces in the Gulf. The government of Nayib Bukele was the first to vote in favor of the resolution against Ortega.

Managua rejected the resolution during Friday’s session, claiming that the OAS is interfering in the internal affairs of the Central American country. The Nicaraguan government alleges that the elections were fair and 65% of the electorate participated in them. Independent organizations such as Urnas Abiertas have affirmed, however, that abstention was imposed on Sunday, with a high 81%. Although Ortega has vetoed the independent press and foreign correspondents, the media were able to document a low presence in the voting boards, while the country’s cities looked empty, heeding a call from the opposition not to participate in the process.

The resolution approved this Friday establishes that the elections “were not free, fair or transparent and do not have democratic legitimacy.” He also affirms that the democratic institutions in Nicaragua “have been seriously undermined” by the regime and criticizes that the Government “has categorically rejected” the initiatives to promote democracy in the Central American country. The document also instructs the OAS to make an immediate assessment of the political situation in Nicaragua, the results of which must be ready before November 30. They also demand that the Ortega regime release political prisoners who, according to complaints from their relatives, are subjected to serious violations of their rights.

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The rejection of the elections has generated an intense debate among progressive movements in Latin America. The Chilean Communist Party’s support for Ortega has put the leftist candidate, Gabriel Boric, in a tight spot just days before the elections. Chile has rejected the results of the elections and the communist resolution criticizes this official position. “The Nicaraguan people went to the polls en masse to democratically elect their authorities and they have done so in peace, in accordance with their institutional framework and current laws,” says the text of the CP, which has raised dust in the middle of the political campaign. Boric had to distance himself from his allies. “I invite the PC to retract its position before Nicaragua,” he asked this Friday. Controversy has also erupted in Brazil, where leaders of the Workers’ Party (PT) celebrated Ortega’s triumph. For the PT, the elections showed “the support of the population for a political project whose main objective is the construction of a socially just and egalitarian country.” The press release, posted on the party’s website on Monday, drew harsh criticism from both its opponents and supporters. By Wednesday it had already been withdrawn.

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