Nicaragua presidential election campaign set to begin

Electoral campaigns for presidential hopefuls will begin today in Nicaragua. The campaigns were slated for August 21st, however, President Ortega’s

Nicaragua 2021 election campaigns to begin

Photo: Stringer/Reuters

Electoral campaigns for presidential hopefuls will begin today in Nicaragua.

The campaigns were slated for August 21st, however, President Ortega’s government postponed it, citing COVID-related precautions. Many believe that this is yet another attempt of Ortega to silence his opposition as he seeks a fourth consecutive term in office.

Last month, Ortega banned his main opposition, the Citizens for Liberty Party, claiming that its president, a dual US-Nicaraguan citizen, threatens Nicaragua’s sovereignty. Ortega also arrested seven presidential hopefuls, dubbing them dangerous. Crackdowns on the press have also continued – the Nicaraguan police raided the headquarters of La Prensa, a newspaper often critical of Ortega, and suspended its print.

In the upcoming weeks, expect the international community to attempt to preserve democracy in Nicaragua. The US and EU will uphold sanctions placed on Ortega and his officials, and the US will likely review their free trade agreement with Nicaragua. Expect the Organization of American States to pressure Ortega by reporting on the elections under the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

Despite international pressure, expect Ortega to run virtually unopposed in the November 7th elections and secure a fourth consecutive term. To oust Ortega moving forward, the international community must maintain pressure, and the Nicaraguan opposition must organize a unity party.

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