The reforms to the Electoral Law announced by the Nicaraguan Legislature in the face of the 2021 elections will be “cosmetic”, since they will not have dissent, in the midst of the serious local socio-political crisis, the opposition Civic Alliance for Justice reported Friday and democracy.
Electoral reforms are one of the main demands of the Nicaraguan opposition and the international community, to overcome the crisis that has left between 328 and 651 dead since the popular uprising against President Daniel Ortega, in April 2018.
The plaintiffs hope that the reforms will guarantee “free, fair, transparent and observed” elections, without the intervention of Ortega and without the option of re-election, to prevent it from extending its mandate, which is now 13 consecutive years.
However, the opposition does not expect that the Legislative Power, which yesterday announced future electoral reforms, will comply with the requirements, since it is a Sandinista majority.
“We cannot expect a good reform from those who have always lied, what they simply want is to make cosmetic reforms to appear internationally as a reformer, we do not believe in that process,” the executive director of the Civic Alliance, Juan Sebastián Chamorro, told reporters .
Chamorro explained that the key to electoral reforms is legitimacy, and that this is only “given by the people of Nicaragua,” whose majority seems to be against the decisions of the Sandinista government.
The Sandinista deputies have warned that they will not discuss the reforms with the opponents, but only with the parties that remain in the General Assembly, together with the official Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).
The opposition leader recalled that “the genuine reform process has to be through a negotiation with the Civic Alliance, which is what the international community, the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, and Nicaraguans have raised.”
The Nicaraguan Government has twice refused to resolve the crisis by electoral means, and Ortega has spoken of defending his interests, if possible, “with arms.”
Various social movements and human rights organizations have warned that the list of dead could grow, if the 2021 elections are not anticipated, on the grounds that the Government carries out selective executions of opponents.
“We are talking about an oppressive regime, violator of human rights, will be repudiated by the international community,” said Chamorro.
Nicaragua was not experiencing a similar crisis from 1980 to 1990, also under the presidency of Ortega.