The Nicaraguan Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) called this Tuesday for municipal elections that will be held on Sunday, November 6, and where the authorities of the 153 municipalities of the country will be elected, which are currently under the control of the ruling party.
In a post on The Gazette, The CSE, accused of being controlled by President Daniel Ortega, released the information, with less than three months to go before the elections.
The day before, the CSE sent the political parties a draft electoral calendar in which they establish that the electoral campaign will last 20 days. Previously the average was 40 days for the campaign of the candidates.
The elections of mayors, deputy mayors and councilors are held every five years in Nicaragua, according to the country’s Political Constitution, which establishes that they will be held on the first Sunday of November.
After Ortega’s return to power in 2007, the president has been consolidating his control in the towns that were in the hands of the opposition.
During 2022, the Police seized by force the last five opposition mayoralties, which were in the hands of the opposition party Citizens for Freedom (CxL), whose legal personality was cancelled.
Ortega seeks to increase control
According to Olga Valle, director of the Urnas Abiertas organization, with this process “everything points” to Ortega seeking to “increase the municipal control they already had.”
“The CSE continues to compromise electoral and national integrity by calling municipal elections on such short notice.”
Valle added that the delay in calling the elections, “in addition to being a systematic practice, is a discretionary decision of the CSE that affects the possibility of there being a true citizen organization, participation and oversight.”
Electoral magistrate Cairo Amador did not respond to a request for comment on the election.