Ros-Lehtinen Responds to Municipal Election Results in Nicaragua

Nov 8, 2017

Ros-Lehtinen Responds to Municipal Election Results in Nicaragua

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman Emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, made the following statement in response to the municipal election in Nicaragua. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“The results of the Nicaraguan municipal election were not a surprise given that the electoral system remains corrupt and lacks transparency in the hands of the Ortega dynasty. It is extremely concerning that local civil society groups in Nicaragua have reported a high level of abstention, deficiencies in the electoral rolls, easily removable ink, intimidation, threats, and even detentions. I condemn the violence that has occurred throughout Nicaragua, especially targeted attacks against indigenous communities, which has reportedly led to five deaths and over 30 injured.           

“The Ortega dynasty ensured that these municipal elections were neither free, fair, nor transparent. Nicaragua is in deep need of electoral system reforms and a more open society for political parties and civil society but these necessary reforms will not take place under Ortega.

“The report from the mission of the Organization of American States on the municipal election results does not tell us anything new. These OAS recommendations are similar to previous ones made in past elections and it has been well-documented that the Ortega family has failed to implement any reforms. Instead, the Ortega regime has continued to undermine democratic principles by ruling with an iron fist, controlling the electoral council, the judiciary, and any other institution in Nicaragua, in order to consolidate more power.   

“In order to incentive reforms to the electoral system in Nicaragua and holding the Ortega regime accountable for its human rights abuses, we must pass the NICA Act. This legislation supports the needs of the Nicaraguan people who desire confidence in their electoral system and who are tired of a corrupt system that runs contrary to the Inter-American Democratic Charter of the Organization of American States.”