Five things wrong about the Nicaragua elections
Nicaragua will hold general presidential elections, with current President Daniel Ortega seeking his third re-election and fifth term. In addition, 90 members of the National Assembly of Nicaragua and 20 members of the Central American Parliament are elected.
According to the official calendar of the Supreme Electoral Council published by the National Assembly of Nicaragua, the election campaigns of the registered candidates began on August 21st and must end next November 3rd, so that the elections are on the 7th. Preliminary results are expected on the 15th of the same Month available.
In the midst of these elections, many cases have raised alarms about a possible fraudulent election. Here’s what’s known so far.
On August 2, the Supreme Electoral Council registered seven candidates for the office of President and Vice-President. However, that list was reduced to six shortly after the CxL party was stripped of its legal status.
The candidates for the Citizens for Freedom (CxL) party were former counterrevolutionary commander Óscar Sobalvarro and former Miss Nicaragua 2017 Berenice Quezada, although Quezada was accused by prosecutors of “provocation and conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism”.
The remaining six candidates are the current President Daniel Ortega for the United Alliance Nicaragua Triumphs, Marcelo De Jesús Montiel Fernández for the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance, MP Mauricio Orúe Vásquez for the Independent Liberal Party, MP Walter Espinoza for the Constitutionalist Liberal Party, Pastor Guillermo Osorno for Camino Cristiano Nicaragüense and Gerson Gutiérrez Gasparín for the Alliance for the Republic Party.
Likewise, Cristiana Chamorro, the presidential candidate most likely to defeat current president, Sandinista Daniel Ortega, has been arrested for “treason” and alleged money laundering and has been under house arrest since last June and was requested by. the public prosecutor will be disqualified from participating in the elections.
Opposition in the country
At least 39 opposition politicians and activists were arrested by the Nicaraguan National Police, including seven presidential candidates who were unable to register for these elections.
Three of the candidates were formally charged with the crimes of “conspiracy to undermine national sovereignty”, which were rejected by opponents, their lawyers and their families.
These include Arturo Cruz, Félix Maradiaga, Noel José Vidaurre Argüello, Medardo Mairena Sequeira, Miguel Mora Barberena and Juan Sebastián Chamorro.
All candidates have dismissed the charges against them.
According to Josep Borrell, the High Representative for Foreign Policy of the European Union, the elections in Nicaragua are “completely fake” and no “legitimate result” can be expected from them.
The situation in the Central American country is “currently one of the most serious” on the whole continent, said the Spanish diplomat.
“I’m more concerned about Nicaragua, where there are elections that are completely fake. We are not going to send an election observation mission there because Mr Ortega has already imprisoned all political opponents who run in the elections produce a legitimate result that we can look at, on the contrary, “Borrell said at a meeting with foreign media in Peru.
US officials told Reuters that the US government was working with international partners on new sanctions that could be imposed in response to the November 7 elections in Nicaragua.
The White House has also launched a review of Nicaragua’s participation in a free trade agreement with Central America and has already ceased support for all trade capacity-building activities to benefit the Ortega regime, a senior State Department official said on condition of anonymity.
Building on the sanctions imposed by his predecessor Donald Trump, the Biden government has imposed financial penalties and travel bans on dozens of Nicaraguan officials, including members of the Ortega family, for the actions of the Central American government prior to the elections.
Facebook against fake news
Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, announced the removal of more than 1,000 fake accounts in Nicaragua that were allegedly part of a government disinformation campaign.
Meta said in a report that those who kept the accounts included employees from the telecommunications regulator and the Supreme Court.
The company said that in addition to the 937 fake accounts on the social network, it also deleted 140 pages, 24 groups, and 363 Instagram accounts, all of which are on the same network.
Ben Nimmo, Meta’s intelligence director for influence operations, told the AFP agency that the accounts are controlled by Daniel Ortega’s government and the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).
In the midst of the political situation in the country, many media outlets had to close their doors and stop communicating their ideas in order not to get into trouble with President Ortega’s regime.
The President of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IACHR), Antonia Urrejola, denounced that nothing was normal in Nicaragua, that there are still more than 100 political prisoners and that the dictatorship has kept its citizens under a police state since the protests that began in April 2018 .
“The situation was that it reduced the spaces for public opinion and the legal status of civil rights organizations was revoked, independent media lost their buildings, was censored, many people went into exile and since the beginning of the crisis many students have been criminalized and ins Who were later released by various groups. The repression continues, the lack of freedom of expression persists, the lack of freedom to hold demonstrations in the streets persists, “Urrejola said while attending the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) awards ceremony last October.