Nicaraguan Electoral Council Gives OK To Daniel Ortega Candidacy

April 7, 2011 7:00 am 1 comment

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. Photo by Presidencia de la República del Ecuador

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council decided Tuesday to formally allow President Daniel Ortega to run for reelection, the Associated Press reports.

Opposition politician María Eugenia Sequeira of the Alianza Nicaragüense por la Esperanza party was the first to announce the decision when she mentioned the news on Wednesday. Nicaraguan law requires the Supreme Electoral Court to publish its decisions in the press, but it failed to do so, AP reports.

Ortega’s candidacy has sparked a wave of protest since he first announced it, because article 147 of Nicaragua’s Constitution prohibits consecutive reelection and limits the number of terms one person can serve to two. Ortega’s candidacy would constitute a bit for a consecutive term and he is already serving his second term as president.

The Supreme Court permitted Ortega’s candidacy regardless, declaring the constitutional restriction inapplicable.

Mass demonstrations both for and against Ortega have taken place in the capital of Managua in recent days, with the government mobilizing more supporters than the opposition, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Clashes on Saturday left 20 police and dozens of protesters injured.

Nicaragua will hold its presidential election on Nov. 5.

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Image: Presidencia de la República del Ecuador @ Flickr.

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