Ortega seeks to consolidate political control in southern regions of Nicaragua

MANAGUA.- Nicaragua is in suspense ahead of the upcoming elections in the Autonomous Regions of the Southern Caribbean and Northern Caribbean, where dictator Daniel Ortega and his party, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), seek to consolidate their absolute political control in an attempt to expand its influence in the last bastions not yet conquered by the ruling party.

Additionally, the arrest of opposition leaders and the suspension of the Yatama indigenous party have raised tension in the region, raising concerns about the fairness of the electoral process. In that sense, the citizen electoral observatory “Open Urns” denounced a climate of illegality and intimidation that surrounds these elections, marking the ground for a possible victory of the FSLN.

The arrest of veteran indigenous leader Brooklyn Rivera and the conviction of substitute representative Nancy Henríquez James, both linked to Yatama, raise serious doubts about the transparency of the electoral process. The suspension of the Yatama party, the main representative of the native population in the region, left a political vacuum that could benefit the FSLN.

Ortega’s strategy

By eliminating significant opposition in Nicaragua’s southern autonomous regions, Ortega seeks to replicate the model of political control he has applied in other parts of the country. The strategy not only involves securing victory in the elections but also gaining firmer control over the natural resources of these areas, which by law should be managed by local governments.

The tactics denounced by “Open Polls” include political violence, militarization of territories, arbitrary arrests and prohibitions on religious activities, all designed to intimidate the population ahead of the elections. Citizens who express their intention to run face police siege, while the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) denies the delivery of identity cards to people identified as opponents, according to complaints.

The international community is closely monitoring the situation in Nicaragua, expressing concerns about the democratic quality of the elections and respect for human rights.

FOUNTAIN: With information from AP