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Nicaragua: When the Political Circle Closes

Ortega legitimizes the right to rebellion and civic protest, as the only way to restore democracy



In the 2008 municipal elections, domestic election observers presented documentary evidence of fraud which favored the FSLN in at least 40 of Nicaragua’s 153 municipalities – including the capital. In the 2011 presidential and general elections, the European Union’s mission emphasized the “lack of transparency” which allowed the government’s party to take control of two thirds of parliament.

Now, by once again taking to the ballot box, Ortega is trying to establish a precedent where his political regime no longer needs clean, transparent and competitive elections in order to validate their rule, and has declared that independent election monitoring services will not be allowed.

Democracy’s last slap in the face came via the Supreme Court, which is controlled by Ortega’s party magistrates. The court issued a resolution which took away the legal representation of the opposition alliance under the Independent Liberal Party.

The ruling goes much further than that and voids a party convention where the opposition ratified their Presidential formula a week before. As a result, the November 6 national elections won’t only not be free nor transparent, but they’ll also cease to be competitive, as the opposition won’t be represented at the polls nor in the candidates up for election.

In an extremely dangerous move which relives the history of the Somoza dictatorship in the 20th century, Ortega closes the political space to any real opposition, giving way to “collaborationist” loyal opposition parties in order to institutionalize his hegemonic party’s regime.

Why liquidate the opposition and cancel electoral observation at a time when Ortega’s rule isn’t is crisis and they’ve even managed to broaden their political base, combining tactics of political patronage, co-optation and repression, in a climate of economic stability and political authoritarianism? Only Ortega and his co-ruling wife, Rosario Murillo, can answer that question. What’s left is the undisputed fact that we’re currently seeing a consolidation of authoritarianism by indefinite reelection, even though the electoral process holds no legitimacy.

The only thing we can celebrate is that, from now on, the political debate has taken off its mask and no longer hides behind subterfuge: while Ortega openly wagers to continue consolidating his regime as a family dynasty and dictatorship.

The opposition now faces the challenge of calling upon the Nicaraguan people to fight against corruption, unemployment, the lack of opportunities, repression and reelection. We have yet to see if the opposition alliance will be able to develop a successful alternative project which will create hope amongst the vast majority of poor and excluded Nicaraguans. However, the only thing we know for sure is that moving the country out of this dilemma no longer resides in international bodies or donor communities, but in the people themselves.

By making the electoral process illegal and by closing off political space to the opposition, Ortega also legitimizes the right Nicaraguans have to rebel and struggle in civil protest, as the only way to reestablish democracy.


This article has been translated from Spanish by Havana Times

Read the original version here


1 Comentario


  1. No sean tan mentirosos y mentirosas En Nicaragua ningun circulo politico se a cerrado ni tampoco hay ninguna dictadura ni familiar ni no familiar. En Nicaragua hay una DEMOCRACIA en toda la extension de la palabra. Prueba de ello q todos/as los y las mercantilistas protestan para garantizar sus respectivos financiamiento por hacer esas viles acciones q no tienen razon de ser. Pero como tienen en venta la soberania nacional por eso lo hacen para seguir recibiendo sus millonadas de dolares atravez de sus fachadas enmascaradas de ONGs. Esa es la realidad de las cosas. Ay q decir las cosas tal cual son. Si para Uds. esto es dictadura entonce que qeda para el terrorismo de la ductadura terrorista de los Somozas y de los mal llamados Gobs neoliberales q aterrosisaron y desmantelaron Nic. con las robaderas y corrupciones a granel q se tenian en contra del pueblo nicaraguense. Recibieron miles de millones de dolares y todavia sangraban al pueblo y no invertian n nada se recetaron astronomicos salaries y la poblacion padeciendo. Tu mama fue la candidate de los gringos entonce porq no les dijo a sus patrones gringos q le pagaran la imdemnizacion de los 17 mil millones de dolares para levanter l pais q gringolandia junto con los y las mercantilistas mercenarios destruyeron y sangraron el pais. Mi estimado Carlos Fernando la HISTORIA nefasta q tienen quienes adversan al FSLN no la pueden ocultar por mucho q se pongan a negarla. No toda la poblacion es cabeza caliente. Ahora no hay justificacion para desconocerla y eso va para los y las supuestos profesionales q adversan al FSLN. Tenien derecho a adversary al partido de Gob. pero NO tienen derecho a mentir