Nicaragua’s electoral body annuls opposition party ahead of general election

Managua, May 18 (EFE).- The Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) of Nicaragua on Tuesday announced the cancellation of the legal status of the Democratic Restoration Party (PRD), which is part of the National Coalition, one of the main opposition blocs that seeks to defeat President Daniel Ortega in the November elections.

The electoral entity declared “the cancellation of legal personality of the political party” PRD, the party’s president and legal representative, Saturtino Cerrato told journalists.

“They came to give me a notice (from the CSE) and it says that it only decides to cancel the legal [status] of the Democratic Restoration Party,” said Cerrato, who explained that “those decisions are unappealable.”

The political leader attributed the measure to the challenge against his party presented on Monday by “alleged pastors” of evangelical churches who showed up at the CSE’s headquarters.

A group of evangelicals from different churches appealed to the electoral body on Monday to impugn any kind of alliances with other opposition groups and modifications to the statutes made by the PRD after the party confirmed an alliance with political factions over the weekend.

Journalist and PRD presidential aspirant Miguel Mora told media that this challenge was a “maneuver” by the Citizens for Freedom (CxL) party, which heads the Citizens’ Alliance for Freedom, the other opposition bloc, after an electoral alliance between the two factions failed.

“It’s a maneuver by the CxL and a media stunt to attack the bloc they consider their rival,” Mora said.

However, ex-Sandinista guerrilla Dora María Téllez described the decision of the CSE, controlled by the ruling party, as an order of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice-President Rosario Murillo.

“What Ortega wants to do is take the opposition out of the electoral game, because he knows that that opposition can defeat him,” said Téllez, now a critic of the president and leader of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).

In the former guerrilla’s view, “Ortega wants to be on the ballot only with his wife” as a running mate, so as not to have competition.

“It is a frightened dictatorship. The National Coalition is a force and that decision shows the dictatorship’s terror,” he said.

According to Téllez, the PRD’s annulment “makes the elections illegitimate at the international level,” because it “purges entire sectors of the opposition.”

The National Coalition consists of the PRD and the indigenous party Yatama, which is also suspended, in addition to the organizations, Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN), Blue and White National Unity and the peasant movement. EFE


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