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Will his election in Nicaragua turn against “Phantomime” Daniel Ortega?

Daniel Ortega
Daniel Ortega. Photo: César PÉREZ / AFP

President Daniel Ortega has been re-elected in Nicaragua for the fifth time. This article was written the day after the election, but may have been written several months earlier. The decision has been sung since the president ordered the imprisonment of seven of his opponents last June, precisely seven who could have won the election battle. With a room like the seven flies destroyed by the brave little tailor of the story, Ortega eliminated his seven main enemies.

This is how Nicaragua went about its election call on Sunday, November 7. The opposite characteristic of how a democratic election should be: uncertainty. Despite the other six contestants, none of them were able to hide the shadow of the dictator, whose role was to help the less fraudulent votes. “Strider Candidates” They are called in popular slang.

Democracy is not simply about voting. It is an organization that can lose power in elections. When power is not in danger there is no real election, it will be voting or at most electoral parody.

Nicaragua has a long history of dictatorship. Democratic deficits were common for most of the 20th century. V-DEM Institute for Assessing the Quality of World Democracy (Types of Democracy), Nicaragua keeps the Republican Party at the lowest level In the first 80 years of the century. The Somos were in power for almost four decades until they were overthrown in 1979 by the Santinista revolution.

From Somosa to 1984 Democracy

The first democratic elections were held in 1984, after the establishment of a governing body in which Daniel Ortega participated. Daniel Ortega then ran for president, and writer Sergio Ramirez, now exiled by his former rival, ran for vice president. From that moment on, the presidential twins entered the path of democracy in Nicaragua.

The 1990 elections, which brought Violetta Zamoro to the presidency, opened a historic and historic peak for democracy in Nicaragua. Fidel Castro would have advised not to call Ortega. “Look at what I said to the Sandinistas … they can not say I did not warn them … I know very well that there was popular discontent,” Fidel Castro said after the defeat of the Sandinistas. Poll, Juan Ronaldo Sanchez, who has been a member of the Cuban President’s Security Council for nearly twenty years, in his book The Hidden Life of Fidel Castro.

Massacre students to retain power

Daniel Ortega returned to power in 2007 with 38% of the vote. This was widely rejected, but the Nicaraguan electoral system did not think about it Ballot. Came back to power because he was the eldest of the minorities.

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Nicaraguan writer Gioconda Belle recalled a famous phrase written by Thomas Borg, the commander of the revolution in those days: “Everything will happen here, regardless of the price to pay, until the Santinista loses the leading power.” In 2018, the Ortega regime made it clear that it would cover this price Killing students at close range to stay in power.

Said V-DEM Is a Swedish independent research institute based in the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg. Among other indicators, Tolin manages the election code based on the opinion of Polyarchy. Following the same standard indicator of democracy, Ortega, since he came to power in 2007, has brought the code to the point where it has been abandoned by Somosa.

Electoral Democratic Code
V-Dem Nicaragua.
Own extension from V-Dem data

“Neither free nor fair, and certainly not democratic.” President Biden rated it Same Sunday night. Joseph Borel, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, already As qualified Fake Election process, etc. Fake These are the thousand accounts that Facebook disabled just before the election. It was a farm Giants This showed great support for the Ortega-Murillo duo and artificially encouraged the construction of their story.

Although some delegates have been sent from Ortega-affiliated governments such as Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia, there is no international election monitoring for the elections. The Carter Center has rejected them “Election Tourists”. The seven jailed candidates are the best living witness to the fact that there is no freedom of the press, no freedom of association and no talk of competitive elections.

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Therefore, it is not surprising that electoral turnout at the November 7 conference was very low. Voters will be rewarded for processes that they generally consider relevant to their participation. Ms. Zamoro won that 1990 election, where she had an 86% turnout. With 10.8 points more than in the previous presidential election, it confirmed the level of voter commitment and concern for Nicaraguan democracy in this victory.

Ignoring the elections called by Ortega

Last Sunday, by contrast, voters responded to a request to boycott the convention. Election Monitoring System Urnas Abiertas Verifies 81% order disregard. Despite expecting “massive” participation from Sunday, the regime has not yet provided official participation figures.

However, Ortega did not have them all with him. Between May and September he lost 14 points in the polls, and his party, the historic Santinista Front, fell to an acceptable 8%. Perhaps even more serious: a common opposition candidate rose 26 points in those four months to make a hypothetical 65-19 against Ortega (Caleb, October 2021) The more Ordega’s reputation falls, the more expensive it will be for him to stay in power. When he loses leadership, he will have to pay more for the bayonets that support him. The brave little tailor emblazoned his belt with “Seven of a Feet” and expressed his courage, but the seven candidates who were ousted by the “brave tyrant” send a naked message to the power factors of the regime.

Faced with such a gruesome altered process, it is worth asking: Why is Ortega calling for votes? This is because the notion that sovereignty belongs to the people and is the only possible source of legitimacy is deeply rooted in Nicaragua, Latin America and the West. The legitimacy of brutal power does not even exist among their own comrades, because people are the only source of legitimate power. In some twisted ways, Ortega’s conference is a tribute to democracy.

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Last week, the Inter-American Human Rights Court ordered Nicaragua to release detained presidential candidates, which has not happened to date. Many Latin American countries were initially unaware of the results, and serious problems are expected in the coming months.

While there may be indirect support from other geopolitical actors such as Russia and China, the fact remains that this support has not been expressed with financial support. The stalled Nicaraguan Sea Canal project is a reminder that China, beyond its political sympathies, only puts money into good business.

The Contemporary Democratic Recession

Global democracy is not living its best days. What began in the 21st century, after decades of consensus on the benefits of a democratic system Larry Diamond He called it the contemporary democratic recession. On the Latin American continent, the Venezuelan case is the best (worst) manifestation of this recession, and Ortega is its most advanced student.

Venezuela’s tyranny undermined the continent’s democratic values. In Venezuela, what can be left for younger and weaker democracies if they experience electoral changes during their eight presidential terms and democracy is snatched away without punishment? The clear message that Maduro’s political survival sends to other “tyrannies” in the world is clear: Come boldly!


Carmen Beatrice Fernandez, Professor of Political Relations at UNAV and IESA (Venezuela and Panama) University of Navarre

This article was originally published Conversation. To read Original.

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