Ten months before the November 7 elections, the first aspirant presidential candidates for the opposition have emerged. They are:
Félix Maradiaga, who will compete for the pre-candidacy of the National Blue and White Unity in mid-February, to be presented in the selection of the National Coalition.
Juan Sebastián Chamorro, who resigned as executive director of the Alianza Cívica to dedicate himself to “political life”. The economist said that before seeking a popular election position, he will work on the unity of most of the opposition forces.
Cristiana Chamorro Barrios also announced her retirement from the presidency of the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation, and does not rule out a possible presidential candidacy, but considers that a great unity must be achieved around a consensual vision of the country first.
Medardo Mairena, leader of the Peasant Movement, is one of the opponents with the highest percentage of favorable opinions in the Cid Gallup polls. He does not rule out a pre-candidacy for the Presidency, although he assures that, at this time, the opposition has more important issues to resolve.
Miguel Mora, journalist, businessman, and former political prisoner, founder of 100% Noticias, is the pre-candidate for the Democratic Restoration Party in the next internal elections of the National Coalition.
They all state that there are still no conditions for free elections. Moreover, they demand the liberation of political prisoners, the unity of the opposition, and electoral reform to have free elections.
2. Alianza Cívica and CxL form a political alliance
The Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy, and the Citizens for Freedom Party (CxL), announced the formation of a political alliance to confront Daniel Ortega’s dictatorship in the upcoming November elections.
The call to create a wide and inclusive electoral alliance was contradicted by the declarations of Kitty Monterrey, president of the CxL, who disqualified the opposition platforms, National Coalition and National Blue and White Unity.
Monterrey’s words caused discomfort among the opposition blocks, who qualified the event as a divisive outburst that favors the dictatorship and insisted on calling for unity of the opposition.
3. Daniel Ortega is silent on electoral reforms
In a nationally televised speech, President Daniel Ortega criticized the U.S. electoral system but was silent on the national and international demand for electoral reforms that would guarantee free, transparent, and observed elections in Nicaragua.
Ortega took the continuity of his regime for granted and called on Nicaraguan businessmen to engage in a national dialogue after the November general elections.
4. MRS promotes renewal
The Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS) changed its name and emblem linked to Sandinismo, in order to adopt the name Unión Democrática Renovadora.
The new emblem retains the orange color of the old MRS and replaces the symbol of General Augusto C. Sandino’s hat with a black arch above the initials Unamos.
In addition, founding members Luis Carrión, Dora María Téllez, Víctor Hugo Tinoco, and Hugo Torres announced that they will not run for public office and will withdraw from the party’s leadership once their term ends in October 2022.
5. More than 80 people have died for Covid-19 in Nicaragua
According to data from the COVID-19 Independent Citizen Observatory, in Nicaragua, at least 84 people have died of coronavirus in the last five weeks.
This figure includes two doctors and five patients from the Nicaraguan German Hospital who died this week, according to medical sources. The 84 deaths represent more than fifteen times the total recorded by the Ministry of Health in the same period, which only acknowledges five deaths.
6. Promises to acquire vaccines against covid-19 continue
The Pan American Health Organization indicated that Nicaragua is on the list of countries that will receive the vaccine against covid-19 next March, through the Covax mechanism.
Meanwhile, Vice President Rosario Murillo announced, without providing a date, that the government will acquire more than seven million doses of three types of vaccines: Sputnik V; Moderna; and Oxford-AstraZeneca.
7. Minsa fires doctor from Manolo Morales
The Ministry of Health fired Dr. Pablo Moreno Padilla, a gastroenterologist and internist at the Manolo Morales Hospital in Managua.
The argument provided by Minsa is that Moreno supposedly abandoned his job post repeatedly, although the doctor affirms that it was in retaliation for his criticism of the negligent actions of the regime in the face of the pandemic.
Independent medical organizations report that at least 480 healthcare workers have been fired for political reasons since 2018.
8. Copa resumes flights to Nicaragua
Panamanian airline Copa will resume its flights to Nicaragua starting on January 20th, with a weekly frequency at first.
Copa will join Colombia’s Avianca as the only international airline with activity in Nicaragua and sold its first six flights within a few hours. Major airlines such as American Airlines and Aeromexico have been rescheduling their return to Nicaragua for more than ten months.
This article has been translated by Ana María Sampson, a Communication Science student at the University of Amsterdam and member of our staff*