LatinNews Daily - 17 May 2021

US threatens to take more action in Nicaragua

Nicaragua: On 6 May the US Department of State issued a press release expressing “deep concern” that the Nicaraguan government led by President Daniel Ortega has “rebuffed calls by its own citizens and the international community” – including the Organization of American States (OAS) – to “build confidence in the electoral process by passing meaningful reforms to enable a free and fair election in November”. This follows the approval by Nicaragua’s 92-member unicameral national legislature of electoral reforms and the appointment of seven magistrates and three alternates to the supreme electoral council (CSE). The US Department of State warns that this legislation “will deny the people of Nicaragua genuinely free and fair elections” and runs “counter to those called for in the OAS General Assembly’s October 2020 resolution”, adding that, among other things, it fails to “provide for timely and transparent reporting of results or for independent domestic or international election observation”. The US Department of State also complains that the new CSE magistrates are “all…staunch loyalists of President Ortega”. It adds that “with these actions…President Ortega and his supporters are signalling a disturbing disregard for the will of the Nicaraguan people and Nicaragua’s commitments under the Inter-American Democratic Charter” and that the US will “continue to use the diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal to support Nicaraguans’ calls for democracy, justice, and free and fair elections”.

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