Nicaragua has a unicameral National Assembly. By Benjamin Elisha Sawe on August 8 2019 in Politics. Kovak tweeted that the law was “a dangerous affront to democracy in Nicaragua.” A Nicaraguan political analyst, José Luis Rocha, said Ortega might have introduced the legislation at this moment to send a message to Washington, the Post adds . This electoral triumph, however, was not only the result of systematic, overt repression and persecution. But it's a human right that many around the world still struggle to attain. As a result, the electoral body is biased. Ortega lost power to centrist Violeta Chamorro following a bloody civil war, but, in 2006, he staged an improbable comeback and was once again elected president. Similarly, democratic members of the OAS could step up their diplomatic pressure on Nicaragua. As a result, comparisons between Ortega and Hugo Chávez or Nicolás Maduro are somewhat misleading. This is becoming increasingly obvious in the case of Nicaragua. View of colonial Granada with Lake Nicaragua in the background. Screen names appear with your comment. While this scenario suggests continued political stability for now, it involves a messy and unpredictable transition ahead once Ortega decides to transfer power to his wife. Since its independence, Nicaragua has suffered political unrest, dictatorship, and even civil war. First, shortly after taking power, the Sandinista leaders began restricting certain freedoms and confiscating property. Governments agreed to regional democracy mechanisms as a protection against threats from the barracks, not to restrict their own room for maneuver. A Strange Silence: The Emergence of Democracy in Nicaragua is the first book to explain what made the Chamorro victory possible and why the U.S. media failed to tell the full story behind the Nicaraguan democratic revolution. The institution is charged with adjudicating criminal and civil crimes. The current president of Nicaragua is Jose Daniel Ortega who has been in office since 2007, and his Vice is Mois… The Mexican government has refused to take any diplomatic stance despite a major rift resulting from the unlawful detention, ill treatment, and expulsion from Nicaragua of the Mexican student Jobany Torres in June 2016. Rather than imprisoning opposition figures, the judiciary annuls their candidacies. Since returning to power in 2007, Daniel Ortega has reinvented himself as a reformed revolutionary willing to do business with the … What is most worrisome, in this context, is the extreme concentration of power surrounding Ortega, his wife, and his children, dramatically reducing the likelihood of the return of multiparty democracy or an orderly political transition in the coming years. By comparison, the Liberal Constitutionalist Party’s candidate, Máximino Rodríguez, won a paltry 14.2 percent. Nicaragua is a prime example of this worrisome trend. Four factors contribute to the lack of a decisive regional policy toward Nicaragua. While most Latin American economies have been struggling, Nicaragua’s economy has been growing at nearly 5 percent per year since the mid-2000s, though from a very low base. The country has a presidential system of government. It is easier to topple an autocracy than it is to build a democracy, of course. They have proven far less effective, however, when it is those already in power that actively undermine democracy. The number of Supreme Court judges was increased from nine judges to sixteen judges to strengthen the court’s independence. The two autonomous regions are the North and South Caribbean Coast. Countries with strong, historical relations with Nicaragua (for example, Chile, Mexico, and Panama) and others with regional influence (for example, Argentina) may be able to engage and convince Ortega to consider reversing his course and begin a dialogue with the opposition on ways to solve the crisis. The arms of government include the executive, legislative, judiciary, and electoral board. Now that he has consolidated power, external measures, in particular sanctions, may play into the hands of the government, which would use external “aggression” as a justification for increased domestic repression. Two months ago, Nicaragua was a popular and friendly tourism destination with the fastest-growing economy in Central America, a … Brazil and Argentina, the South American heavyweights, have a relatively weak presence in Central America. Ortega and his entourage have almost total control of the executive branch, Congress, most of the judiciary, the Sandinista party, the police, and the national army.1 Ortega’s greatest critics today are not opposition candidates but Sandinistas who fear a return, paradoxically, to a family dictatorship similar to that of the Somoza days. Nicaragua’s backsliding, after … Since then, he has gradually dismantled Nicaragua’s young democracy. The executive is comprised of the President, Vice-president, and the Council of Ministers. Latin American diplomats in Managua privately acknowledge the slow decline of Nicaragua’s democracy, yet for various reasons, their governments—with the exception of Costa Rica’s—have been disinclined to speak out. This should involve establishing specific rules and monitoring mechanisms related to, for example, judicial independence, freedom of the press, and protection of opposition politicians—areas where aspiring autocrats often begin to expose their authoritarian tendencies. 1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW What America must do to help Nicaragua restore democracy. Judges to the Supreme Court are nominated by political parties and elected by the National Assembly to a five-year term. Without such a debate, the region will be unable to deal with cases where incumbent leaders slowly erode democracy from within. In a region plagued by astonishing levels of violence—among the highest in the world for countries at peace—Nicaragua has the best indices of public security. Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights. Colombia, whose relations with Nicaragua are fractious because of a territorial dispute, has remained on the sidelines. The Charter of Autonomy granted to the two regions is mostly based on the Spanish model. This week, at the end of its semiannual meeting in Colombia, the Inter-American Press Association (SIP) demanded that the government of Managua release the journalists Miguel Mora and Lucía Pineda immediately, who have been arrested since December without due process and, … The regime has won over influential members of the Catholic Church by embracing family values and introducing conservative legislation, such as strict antiabortion laws. You are leaving the website for the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy and entering a website for another of Carnegie's global centers. The departments are in charge of their economic, social and cultural development. Ortega has distributed resources (especially Venezuelan aid) to divide and weaken the opposition, which has seemed unable to confront him and make a convincing case as to why he should be replaced. The Trump administration, which has taken a strong stance on Cuba, may eventually take a similar, more aggressive position on Nicaragua. By Ryan Berg, opinion contributor — 01/03/20 06:00 PM EST. With the ruling FSLN’s one-sided triumph in the November 2016 elections, Nicaraguan democracy underwent further erosion. Thus, there is an urgent need to update this framework and galvanize more effective international support that will put the brakes on the country’s authoritarian turn. In our view, Nicaraguan politics has been shaped first and foremost by. Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. The main political parties influence the electoral council by electing their party members into the council. forces emerging from that history to make the revolution. The United States, working with the international community, supports the Nicaraguan people’s demands for basic democratic freedoms and critical reforms allowing for free and fair elections. ... NDI's work upholds the idea that democracy is a human right – a principle enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is composed of the Supreme Court, Appeals court, criminal court, and military court. The regions gained their autonomous status in 1987 through a constitutional Charter of Autonomy. Democracy and Citizen Security in Nicaragua . ( Robert Nelson is a PhD student at Stanford specializing in International Relations. No links or markup permitted. This is despite their purported vow to defend and promote regional democracy. The current president of Nicaragua is Jose Daniel Ortega who has been in office since 2007, and his Vice is Moises Omar Hallesleven Acevedo who has been in office since 2012. The Electoral body is made of seven magistrates. At the same time, repressive tactics have been contrasted by seemingly conciliatory moves. Rebranding the FSLN. The Supreme Electoral Council is responsible for organizing and conducting elections and referendums. 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