Nicaragua’s main opposition bloc, the National Coalition, is scheduled to formally resume negotiations with youth and student organisations today in
Nicaragua’s main opposition bloc, the National Coalition, is scheduled to formally resume negotiations with youth and student organisations today in a bid to secure a broader electoral alliance ahead of the November 2021 presidential election.
The National Coalition traces its origins back to the Nicaraguan government’s crackdown on civil protests in April 2018. Initially, officials from seven political parties signed an agreement unifying various opposition sectors after demonstrations over social security reform broadened into nationwide rallies against President Daniel Ortega. The initiative intended to present a unified response to increasingly authoritarian rule and deterioration of political and human rights in the country, including the excessive use of force by the national police and severe restrictions on freedom of expression and association.
The current National Coalition internal negotiations began with an idea to include the youth groups that led the protests in 2018 to its membership. However, the discussions stopped after tensions emerged between anti-government youth movements and established political parties over representation in the Coalition’s decision making process and influence in the crafting of a negotiating strategy with the Ortega government.
With the renewal of negotiations today, the National Coalition takes another step to establish itself as the strongest electoral challenge to President Daniel Ortega and the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front party in the upcoming elections, in a country that faces a continued crackdown on dissent and still lacks clear ground rules to guarantee a fair electoral process.
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