Nicaragua: Electoral Council Expels Opposition Lawmakers

Washington

In response to Nicaragua’s highest electoral authority deciding to unseat 16 opposition legislators who are members the Liberal Independent Party and its ally the Sandinista Renovation Movement, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“The Electoral Court’s decision is a blatant attempt to stifle political pluralism and dissent,” said Carlos Ponce, director of Latin American programs. “This is another effort by President Ortega to stay in office indefinitely by undermining democratically elected institutions, especially as he aims to win a third consecutive six-year term.”     

Background:

On July 29, Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council announced a decision to expel 16 legislators from both the Liberal Independent Party and the Sandinista Renovation Movement from the National Assembly for not recognizing a new party “leader” put in place by President Ortega. The decision removed all remaining opposition legislators from the National Assembly, before President Ortega prepares to seek a third presidential term in November.

Nicaragua is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2016, and Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2016.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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