Open Ballot Boxes sees "impossible to organize credible municipal elections" under the total control of Ortega

Open Ballot Boxes sees “impossible to organize credible municipal elections” under the total control of Ortega

The citizen observatory Urnas Abiertas denounced that the “late” convening of the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) for the municipal elections is a “systematic practice” of the Daniel Ortega administration that “affects the possibility of there being a true organization, participation and oversight citizen” in the questioned day for this 2022, where a repressive environment prevails, more exile and persecution of religious leaders and opponents.

This Tuesday, August 16, the CSE called for municipal voting to be held on November 6. The certification published in the Official Gazette No. 152 indicates that mayors, deputy mayors and councilors will be elected in the 153 municipalities of the country.

In a report, the independent organization assured that 16 weeks before the 2022 election day, it is impossible to organize elections that meet international standards and norms.

Related news: Ortega calls for municipal votes in secret

“They will do opaque elections. But transparent elections have not been held in previous years, less so now that they have complete control, “said the municipal expert from Open Ballot Boxes.

A man votes in Managua (Nicaragua), in a file photograph. EFE/Jorge Torres

In addition, he argued that the delay in calling municipal votes is because Daniel Ortega’s regime “is aiming at increase municipal control, which they already had. That is why, through pressure and repression, they are seeking absolute control and are pressuring other liberal local authorities to give in.

Olga Valle, director of the organization, maintained that with this late call, “the CSE continues to compromise electoral and national integrity by calling municipal elections with so little time for their organization.”

The FSLN and its collaborationist parties

According to the monitoring of Urnas Abiertas, “collaborationist political parties have been preparing since May, even they have already chosen the candidates that they will present on September 3 and normally the election process took longer than what was established in the electoral calendar. Just published.”

Given this situation, the agency’s municipal expert assures that there is complicity between the political parties and the CSE, because “the regime it has already appointed its own candidates and what the collaborationist parties have done is validate to continue in the posts.

For Valle, “the actions of the collaborationist parties outside the call of the CSE is one of the first irregularities that we registered in this electoral period.”

“In July there was an increase in acts in favor of the PLC, APRE, PLI and none of these events were besieged by the Police or prohibited by the government, despite the generalized violence and de facto police state that the regime maintains in the country,” he stressed.

Related news: Open Ballot Boxes denounces “silence and secrecy” on the part of the CSE ahead of the municipal elections

The director of the citizen observatory also explained that another of the irregularities for the 2022 election day is that some CED (Departmental Electoral Committee), CER (Regional Electoral Committee) and CEM (Municipal Electoral Committee) “have been forming since previous weeks in some municipalities , that according to the Electoral Law the formation of these and therefore their work should occur until the registered parties send short lists to elect their members, processes that should not be carried out until the call is official.

municipal elections
CSE sanctioned for “undermining democracy and certifying the general elections in Nicaragua.” Photo: Article 66

For his part, the municipal expert insisted that “we cannot say that there is a transparent call if the deadlines are met and citizens cannot freely decide their authorities.”

“From Open Urns we reiterate that Nicaragua needs a credible, comprehensive and legitimate municipal electoral process. We insist on the importance of reestablishing democratic conditions, which include the release of detained persons, ending repression, political violence and the police state,” the agency concluded.

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