The UN concludes that the municipal elections in Nicaragua lacked "democratic legitimacy"

The UN concludes that the municipal elections in Nicaragua lacked “democratic legitimacy”

The municipal elections held at the beginning of November in Nicaragua had the same pattern as the 2021 general elections, which were described as “not free, fair or transparent and without democratic legitimacy,” reported the Office of the High Commissioner for the United Nations. (OHCHR) in a bulletin Posted this Thursday.

In this municipal process, the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) assigned all municipalities to the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front, with the total of the 153 mayoralties in the countrya fact that had not occurred in any election.

One year after Ortega’s return to power, in 2008, municipal elections were held and the ruling party only obtained 109 mayoralties, while another 44 were distributed by other political parties.

The OHCHR also received information that, between November 1 and 8, there were 31 alleged arbitrary detentions linked to the electoral process.

At least 16 arrests took place on November 5, the day before the municipal elections, while four people were arrested on the same day of the elections, according to the report.

abstentionism in elections

The OHCHR assured that “no incidents of physical violence were publicly disclosed during election day, apart from some arrests” and stressed that “the vote was marked by abstentionism.”

Among other things, the report highlights that there were other alleged violations of the rights of Nicaraguans, such as not allowing the presence of independent electoral observers, but rather “electoral escorts, lacking in independence.”

It also highlights that State vehicles were used to transport voters to voting centers, especially in rural areas and in municipalities where the opposition had previously won.

And the pressure increased in traditionally opposition territories, with an intimidating presence of police forces in the vicinity of the homes of opposition persons to prevent them from going to the voting centers in at least 13 municipalities.

On the other hand, they reported that the bases of the YATAMA indigenous party claimed to have won in the Waspam municipality on the North Caribbean Coast.

“Following the complaint, incidents were reported in the municipality and in Bilwi, with harassment and police repression, arrests, searches and checkpoints,” the bulletin indicated.

Although Ortega did not refer to this report, one day after the elections he said that they were “historic and peace triumphed.”

The president indicated that there was no bloodshed or violent acts, after accusing other countries, including the United States, of allegedly “conspiring” against this electoral process.

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