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January 23, 2023
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FSLN intends to buy wills with more resources for the mayors’ offices

FSLN intends to buy wills with more resources for the mayors' offices

The dictatorship of Daniel Ortega seeks the support of the population that opposes him by increasing the budget of the mayors’ offices that until now his political party had not controlled. However, it will be difficult for him because “there are many ‘bills’ that the population has for the Sandinista Front,” says municipal activist Silvio Prado.

“The exponential increase in transfers sends two lessons for the entire country: one that the laws do not care, in this case Law 466, because before it did not deliver the transfers that the law mandates because it did not feel like it, to punish and to sabotage governments that were not of his political sign, that is, he is endorsing a logic that works with rewards and punishments,” Prado said in an interview with the Esta Semana program.

Likewise, he added, the increase in transfers can be interpreted as a strategy of the regime to “buy wills” of the opposition population.

The specialist described that until now the Ortega dictatorship has executed a hegemonic project in which repression and the de facto police state fulfilled the function of dominating, but now it needs the consensus or consent of the oppressed.

Therefore, he seeks to protect his political regime and “since he has not been able to generate the cultural vehicle to tame the rejection of the people, now he will try to buy it with an implicit message: ‘if they align with my government and with my party will do better than with the non-Sandinista governments,’” he explained.

CONFIDENTIAL revealed in the report “FSLN increases funds from punished mayoralties now that it controls them” that the regime increased the budget of the opposition mayoralties by up to 300%, which for years were drowned with rickety budgets and frozen transfers. The increase occurs until his party took over the 153 municipalities.

“This has been the final blow to the last vestiges of constitutional democracy, which contemplates the horizontal and vertical division of powers. That is to say, there are no independent State powers, nor are there autonomous local governments”, lamented Prado.

The five opposition mayoralties that will receive the greatest increase in percentage terms will be those of El Almendro, in Río San Juan; Santa María de Pantasma and El Cuá, in Jinotega; Murra, in Nueva Segovia, and La Trinidad, in Estelí. Until 2022, all these mayoralties were governed by the opposition.

Population is wounded by the regime

The municipalist pointed out that it will be very difficult for the population to buy because “there is a lot of pain, there is a lot of mourning, many invoices that the population has from the Sandinista Front. There are political prisoners, there are deaths, there are wounded and there is a large population in exile and all this is an open wound in the conscience of the population”, he opined.

On the one hand, he indicated that it is possible for the Sandinista Front to gain some “legitimacy” due to the performance of the municipalities that now will have the funds to carry out the projects that the previous mayors could not, but it is likely that those who are not related to the scheme are excluded.

“Surely they are going to promote front projects that give visibility to what the new government is doing: parks, squares, streets, but beware, they are going to do it following a more ‘clientelistic’ approach. That is to say, they are going to privilege the neighborhoods or areas most related to the local government and I think that a certain punishment will be applied to the projects that target the neighborhoods or the anti-Sandinista area,” commented Prado, who is also a sociologist.

Swearing in of Nicaraguan municipal authorities held in January of this year. Photo: Presidency

That is why he believes that “if the quality of citizens is going to improve compared to the (governments) they had before, because before these mayoralties had many problems carrying out their projects, because the Government had closed the key to transfers ”.

Caribbean coast continues to be punished with budget

Despite the fact that the budget item for municipal transfers in 2023 increased by 79% at a general level, compared to 2022, the municipalities of the Caribbean Coast will have the least increase. Prado affirmed that there are several factors that can explain this decision.

“I would say that at first glance there are technical reasons, the municipalities of the Caribbean Coast have always received less because in the calculation of the transfers there is a formula in which four criteria are applied: fiscal equity, efficiency in the collection of the IBI, population and the execution of transfers. Of these four, in three, the municipalities of the Caribbean Coast always go wrong, ”he described.

Another reason, he added, is that the Sandinista Front has less interest in ingratiating itself with this population because of its low weight in the elections. Likewise, it may be that “they may receive other types of transfers through more specific programs for the Caribbean Coast or through the autonomous governments.”

The data analysis of CONFIDENTIALrevealed that the municipalities of Mulukukú, El Tortuguero, La Cruz de Río Grande and Bocana de Paiwas had municipal budgets above 30 million córdobas in 2018, then they were drastically reduced and now with the increase they are barely between 8.5 and 13 millions.

Sandinista Front has many internal cracks

For the expert, currently the Ortega dictatorship has a de facto single party model, but not in the long term because to install it an internal monolithism is needed.

“According to the latest purges that we have known, the Front has many internal cracks, so it is more than a single party model in the style of the Cuban Communist Party, what there is right now in Nicaragua is a family party,” he explained.

This family party system will cause an internal crisis to occur when Ortega disappears because the Sandinista Front is tied to the figure of Daniel Ortega. “And I believe that neither his wife nor his son have the trajectory or the political weight within the Front to take over. So, it is difficult to talk about a single-party model in the future, although at present there is one, ”he says.

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