Ortega's municipal elections "were a blow to democracy," says the observatory

Ortega’s municipal elections “were a blow to democracy,” says the observatory

The multidisciplinary Observatory Urnas Abiertas concluded this Wednesday that the results of the municipal elections of November 6 in Nicaragua, in which the Sandinistas won 100% of the mayoralties in a process without competition, gave “a deadly blow to the democracy in general.

In a report entitled “Nicaragua observes”, presented in person and online from San JosĂ©, Costa Rica, Urnas Abiertas maintained that this “deadly blow” was particularly “to local development and municipal autonomy” of Nicaraguans.

Related news: “Historical setback and false elections”, this is how opponents label the municipal votes in Nicaragua

“For local development and municipal autonomy, this represents a serious setback in the progress that had been made,” said that observatory.

The ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) proclaimed itself the winner of the municipal elections in Nicaragua, in which the 153 mayoralties that were in dispute were awarded without competition.

For the first time since 1990, a political party will administer all the municipalities of Nicaragua, including Managua, the capital of that country.

In this process and for the second election in a row, the Nicaraguan authorities maintained the ban on three opposition political parties that were outlawed last year from participating, and their main leaders in prison.

Anomalies, Irregularities and Political Violence

According to the Observatory of political incidents Urnas Abiertas, made up of a multidisciplinary team and volunteers, the municipal elections in Nicaragua “were marked by 5,821 anomalies, irregularities or political violence during voting day”.

“The 5,821 anomalies identified by the citizen networks respond to irregularities in the use of State vehicles, coercion of the vote, indications of electoral fraud, presence of voters from other locations in the polling stations,” said Urnas Abiertas.

Related news: Race and Equality denounces municipal elections without guarantees in Nicaragua

Other irregularities detected were the electoral propaganda inside the voting centers, the electoral roll that was not visible, and acts of political violence, including the arrest of 50 people in this context.

According to that report, “what was observed in the Nicaraguan elections was a chain of anti-democratic actions of a violent and repressive nature, whose objective was for the FSLN to win over all local spaces, including those in which some political parties traditionally participated.” residual and/or collaborators”.

Olga Valle, director of Urnas Abiertas, during the municipal voting report on November 6. Photo: Article 66

«These results upset democratic principles such as political pluralism, the balance of powers and the legality of due process. The regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo has created the conditions to eliminate all political opposition and the last expressions of democracy were annihilated in these elections,” he warned.

Exclusion and abstention

He warned that “the ideologies of historically liberal territories or the political commitments of indigenous and Afro-descendant organizations have been excluded from public administration.”

Related news: Boaco and Bluefields marked by abstentionism in municipal elections in Nicaragua

Likewise, Urnas Abiertas maintained that in these elections there was a participation of 17.33% and an abstentionism of 82.67%, based on a study carried out in 366 voting centers of the 3,106 authorized, with a confidence level of 95%. and a margin of error of 5%.

However, the Electoral Power, controlled by the Sandinistas, set participation at 57.1% and abstention at 42.9% in these local elections.

Ortega's municipal elections "were a blow to democracy," says the observatory
Political analyst Julio Ricardo Hernández gave his assessment of the Open Polls report. Photo: Article 66

The Supreme Electoral Council, controlled by the ruling party, dismissed 785,601 voters in one year without explaining the reasons.

In the general elections of November 7, 2021, in which the Sandinistas Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo were re-elected as president and vice president, respectively, with their main rivals in prison, the Electoral Power summoned 4,478,334 Nicaraguans to vote (out of a population of 6.6 million).

For the municipal elections, they summoned 3,692,733 voters, an even lower number than in the previous local elections of 2017, when they registered 3,894,104, according to official figures.

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