English

OAS to “make an appearance” at the Nicaragua electoral farce

They’ll meet with experts invited by the government on November 6th



HAVANA TIMES – The government of Daniel Ortega has invited the Organization of American States (OAS) to “make an appearance” on the fifth, sixth and seventh of November when Nicaragua will observe elections in which independent electoral observation are prohibited and the opposition has been outlawed by the government.

Official spokesperson Rosario Murillo, Ortega’s wife and VP candidate, made the announcement this Tuesday at noon, stating that the visit forms part of the dialogue that the government has established with OAS General Secretary Luis Almagro.  Almagro’s report on the political and electoral situation of Nicaragua was held in reserve.

Murillo explained that the OAS delegates would meet with the experts and organizations invited by the government and the Supreme Electoral Council.

In 2011 an electoral mission from the OAS observed the presidential elections in which President Ortega was reelected, although such reelection was unconstitutional.  At that time, the mission questioned the lack of transparency in the electoral system and issued a series of recommendations for legal and political reforms.  These suggestions went unattended by the government and the Supreme Electoral Council.

The OAS wasn’t invited to observe this year’s election process; instead, together with other independent international observers, they were vilified as “scoundrels” by Ortega.

But now, Ortega’s government has “extended an invitation to the Secretary General’s delegation, to have a presence in our country on November 5, 6, and 7 in order to meet with experts and organizations invited to the Nicaraguan electoral process, and to hear their impressions regarding the National Electoral Activity on November 6,” Murillo informed.

The OAS responded to the invitation via a communiqué confirming that they would send a delegation “to meet with the experts and organizations invited to the electoral process.”

Those invited by Ortega’s government are members of the “Council of Latin American Electoral Experts” selected by the Supreme Electoral Council, as well as electoral “accompaniers” from the National Council of Universities directed by Telémaco Talavera, one of Ortega’s presidential advisors.

Among the international figures invited are Wilfredo Penco, currently Vice President of the Electoral Court of Uruguay; Eugenio Chicas Martínez, former President of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of El Salvador: Pablo Gutiérrez, ex-director of the Department of Electoral Cooperation of the Organization of American States; and August Aguilar, ex-president and magistrate of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Honduras.

The official communications haven’t given any details on the scope of this invitation, or whether or not the OEA mission will meet with national independent observers and with the electoral experts who have denounced the disintegration of the electoral system and referred to the process as a “farce”.

The Broad Democratic Front (which includes the Sandinista Renovation Movement and different social movements) has stated that they will “in no way accept as a given the fraudulent and anti-democratic results” of the voting.

According to the Broad Front, at this point these elections are “unobservable”.  In this crucial moment for Nicaragua, the international community and in particular the OEA has a historic opportunity to support a new return to a democratic road in Nicaragua, by demanding the fulfillment of the Esquipulas Agreements and the Inter-American Democratic Charter, stated a communiqué from the opposition. 

This article has been translated from Spanish by Havana Times