(posted Feb. 8, 2:30 p.m.) -On the occasion of the three-month anniversary of President Daniel Ortega’s reelection, a dozen civil society organizations released a joint-statement this week denouncing the “electoral fraud” of Nov. 6 and demanding an electoral do-over.
The civil society groups said their rejection of last November’s general elections has only grown stronger since the final election-monitoring reports from the Organization of American States and the EU.
“This fraud signifies a fatal setback for Nicaragua’s fragile democracy, which began thanks to the efforts, the suffering and the sacrifice of the people of Nicaragua, who have contributed in various forms to build conditions to achieve liberty and advance the development of this country,” reads the Feb. 6 declaration.
The group also called on the nation’s two largest business chambers, COSEP and AMCHAM, to “use your economic power” to defend rule of law in Nicaragua. The group stressed that real economic growth needs to be built on an institutional democracy, and warned that the accumulation of money based on concessions with arbitrary regimes is a risky proposition.
The civil society coalition also said it “categorically rejects” the upcoming municipal elections as long as the “problem of the past electoral fraud is not resolved.”
“The only way to reinstitute our constitutional order, rescue or democracy, preserve the peace in our nation, avoid the suspension of international aid and recover that which has already been lost, and leave for future generation a message that dictatorship and electoral fraud should not be tolerated in Nicaragua today, is to clean out the electoral system and have new national elections with new and trustworthy arbitrators who respect the rules of the game, transparency and electoral observation,” the statement reads.