The decision will prevent the right-wing formation Ciudadanos por la Libertad from taking on Ortega in the general elections in November
The Nicaraguan regime has added an important new goal in the repressive campaign that it has launched to clear Daniel Ortega’s path to a fourth consecutive term of rivals. The electoral court, related to the president, decided on Friday (early this Saturday in Spain) to disqualify the main opposition party, the right-wing Ciudadanos por la Libertad, which intended to participate in the general elections on November 7 at the head of an alliance of formations contrary to the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front.
The Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) announced in a resolution its irrevocable determination to “cancel the legal personality” of Ciudadanos por la Libertad (CxL). With this measure, the main opposition bloc has had to say goodbye to its desire to fight at the polls with the ruling party since the law prohibits formations that are not legalized from participating in these processes.
The argument put forward by the CSE was the complaints presented hours before by the conservative Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC), the second parliamentary force and which has been accused by other political forces of collaborating with the Government. According to the PLC, the president and legal representative of CxL, Carmella Rogers Amburn, known in the political sphere as Kitty Monterrey, “has dual nationality (American and Nicaraguan), in notorious violation of the law.”
In protest of his party’s actions, businessman Milton Arcia resigned his presidential candidacy under the ranks of the PLC on Saturday. The formation, before receiving his resignation, had already appointed a substitute, the deputy Walter Espinoza, according to Arcia.
The PLC complaint served the electoral body not only to deprive the CxL of legitimacy but also to withdraw Rogers Amburn’s identity card since, according to the CSE, it “used irregular procedures.” With the withdrawal of Nicaraguan nationality, her party denounced that the hitherto leader of the main opposition formation remains only as a US citizen, with a complicated immigration situation and subject to possible deportation.
The last maneuver of the regime takes place just two days after the CSE rejected the candidacy of the former beauty queen Berenice Quezada to the position of vice president of the country through the ranks of the CxL. The 27-year-old girl has been sentenced to house arrest because of controversial statements that upset the ranks of the ruling party.
But Quezada’s case is not the only one. At least 31 opposition leaders, including seven presidential hopefuls, have been detained since June, most of them accused of “treason” against the homeland. Among the prisoners is Cristiana Chamorro, daughter of former President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, who was one of the favorites to face Ortega.
The president, a 75-year-old ex-guerrilla who has been in power since 2007, now finds his way free to continue in the presidency. It will only have to be measured at the polls with five right-wing parties that are branded as “collaborationists.”