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Haydee Castillo: These are the “worst elections” in the history of Nicaragua

Haydee Castillo: These are the "worst elections" in the history of Nicaragua

The municipal electoral farce organized by the regime, it will not solve any problem in Nicaragua, it has no credibility, nor will it actually serve to elect anyone, because the decision was already made in El Carmen several weeks ago, according to the opinion of three experts on electoral issues, who were summoned by the Citizen Observatory ‘Open Ballot Boxes’.

“These are the worst elections in the history of Nicaragua, because the people go to the polls with a gun to their temples, and on the other hand, with the clear intention, on the part of the dictatorship, of staying in power through blood and fire,” said human rights defender and observer for Panorama Electoral, Haydee Castillo.

This Sunday November 6 concludes the most lackluster ‘election campaign’ in the country’s historywith just 20 days for the more than 27,000 candidates who hope to occupy one of the 6,000 available positions, to take to the streets and make themselves known among the voters who are still on the electoral roll, from which 1.3 million citizens were eliminated , explained the director of ‘Open Ballot Box’, Olga Valley.

Castillo and Valle expressed their points of view in a virtual event organized by Urnas Abiertas, in which the lawyer, former deputy, and liberal politician, Eliseo Núñez, as well as the executive director of Electoral Transparency, Leandro Querido, also participated.

Núñez agreed with the other speakers, declaring his certainty that “in Nicaragua, the system is absolutely collapsed,” as well as his doubt as to whether the Sandinista Front will maintain the current hegemonic party scheme. surrounded by troupesor if it will revert to the single party, which will confirm when it knows how many mayorships it assigns to itself this Sunday.

“I have no doubt that the Front will capture more than 90% of the mayorshipswhich would show that it remains in the game of being a hegemonic party, but if 100% is assigned, it is that it has already decided to move to the single party”, he specified.

“The Sandinista Front does not meet the conditions to be a single party, because it is not even a political party,” Castillo added.

Why spend money on an electoral farce?

Agreeing that “the elections in Nicaragua do not have any kind of guarantees,” Leandro Querido, also a teacher and political scientist, said that they are rather “a counterexample of what we know as elections with integrity, and that is not from now. It is a process of deterioration, of an assault on democracy, which began in 2007”, when Daniel Ortega assumed power.

Throughout the five years, this has included the expulsion of elected deputies, the indecency of having a regime of political prisoners; the media censorship Y the dismantling of political parties; the co-optation of the electoral arbitrator, which is common in populist regimes, but which Ortega successfully achieved for several years; spurious laws for persecute whoever has a different look than the official oneamong other decisions.

The result is that “the opposition can no longer compete” in these ‘elections’, because there are tacit, notorious barriers to prevent it, to the point that Nicaragua has dropped 20 seats in the Democracy Index compiled by The Economist, and now occupies position 140. “There is no longer a rule of law or separation of powers. There is an elite that has ‘loaded’ the State, and the Electoral Power is an appendage of the Executive”, she described.

In the midst of this panorama of total hopelessness for those who still see the elections as an opportunity to begin resolving the political crisis that is suffocating Nicaragua, Querido wonders why a totalitarian regime like Ortega’s calls for ‘elections,’ when no one but him can ‘win’ them.

His view is that there are three reasons for this. The first, to show the international community, democratic or not, that he controls political power in a discretionary way. The second, to put the machinery of the party into operation, and the third, to reward loyalties and carry out some kind of internal purge, in a scenario that is already almost a single party.

“In a democracy, full elections produce legitimate results, but in Nicaragua, without guarantees, whatever emanates from that ‘election’ is not legitimate. It has more to do with abuse, arrogance, subjugation, and it will only serve to keep the political conflict deepening, because these ‘elections’ will not solve anything,” he reiterated.

What comes out of this Sunday’s exercise “is an illegitimate product rejected by Nicaraguan society as a whole. The high abstention of the latest processes, shows how isolated Ortega is, who only remains in power, due to state and para-state violence. the international community You must understand that Ortega is outside the Law,” he said.

The violence also reached the Danielistas

While Open Ballot Boxes counted 709 acts of political violence and seven arrests in four departments during this week, in a report generated on Friday, November 4, Haydee Castillo, also president of the outlawed Leadership Institute of Las Segovias, recalled that elections are only legitimate if the will of the people is the basis of political power, and they are held by universal, secret and equal suffrage for all.

Instead, the regime’s accomplices are threatening citizens, telling them that if they don’t vote, they won’t be allowed to do business with state entities. “This process annihilates freedom completely. Yes in 2021, the OAS said that the elections were not legitimatehere a new farce is being staged with the coercion of all the powers of the State, which are also illegitimate”, he declared.

The expert referred that all the electoral processes of the last years have been full of violence and murders. But if until a few years ago, the victims of this aggressive policy were those who opposed the regimenow not even his acolytes are safe.

Valle recalled that until a few months ago, there were militants who hoped to be part of the generational change within the Sandinista Front, but it is confirmed that in 118 municipalities there will be no changes in the role of mayorwhich caused dissatisfied within that partythat imprisoned his own supporters who protested because there will be no changes.

“This is the culmination of a process that began in 2018, to impose a dynastic dictatorship of an absolutist power where ungovernability, political polarization and anarchy prevail, because the population no longer trusts the security forces, there is no balance anymore. of powers. The social order and the social fabric were totally broken, which has an impact on daily life. The life projects of the young people who were in the universities have been broken, and now they work doing anything in exile,” Castillo said.

The expert observes that “in Nicaragua there is no legitimately constituted government. The municipalities are no longer governed by mayors or councillors, but by the political secretary of the Sandinista Front, who carries out the orders dictated by the dictatorial couple”, while state workers are forced to commit crimes in exchange for a salary, and the a system of reporting brothers and neighbors.

The impact of all this on the daily lives of Nicaraguans is “very serious. If today, November 5, Nicaragua is plunged into chaos and presents levels of poverty that are unsustainable, with this new electoral farce, the Nicaraguans will be left in worse conditions,” Castillo predicted.

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