Washington/Guatemala City, Nov 12 (EFE).- The Organization of American States (OAS) closed its 51st General Assembly on Friday with condemnation of the Nicaragua election, in which President Daniel Ortega prevailed, declaring it not free nor fair and with no “democratic legitimacy.”
With 25 votes in favor, one against (Nicaragua), seven abstentions (Belize, Bolivia, Dominica, Honduras, Mexico, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and one absence (St. Kitts and Nevis), the delegations of the inter-American body approved a resolution on “the situation in Nicaragua.”
It said the member states were “deeply concerned” that the country’s government “has disregarded all recommendations of the OAS” and “harassed, restricted and arrested candidates, parties, independent media and civil society” ahead of the polls.
The resolution “deplores” that the diplomatic and technical initiatives undertaken since June 2018 by the OAS to promote “representative democracy and the protection of human rights in Nicaragua have been unsuccessful because they were ignored or rejected outright by the government.”
It declared that “the elections on November 7 in Nicaragua were not free, fair or transparent and have no democratic legitimacy,” and it concluded that “democratic institutions in Nicaragua have been seriously undermined by the government.”
The members also called for the release of all political prisoners and “an immediate end to the arrest and harassment of independent media and members of civil society.”
It instructed the OAS Permanent Council to carry out an “immediate collective assessment” of the situation in Nicaragua, to be completed no later than Nov. 30, and to take “appropriate action.”
Prior to the vote, the representative of Nicaragua, Michael Campbell, rejected “in the most categorical way the draft resolution” that he said “is to be imposed” against his country.
Last Sunday, Ortega was re-elected for his fifth five-year and fourth consecutive term in a general election that has not achieved the recognition of the majority of the international community. EFE