The democratic transition that we Nicaraguans began in 1990, and the peacebuilding we undertook after a tragic war between brothers, relied on an essential foundation: honest and transparent elections, notes El Grupo de los 27 writers, intellectuals, politicians and leaders of Nicaraguan civil society. Respect for the popular will is what, in our recent history, has made it possible for our country to open a period of freedom, rights and the rule of law, they write for Open Democracy:
We have reiterated that holding periodic, free and transparent elections is the peaceful and civilized means for electing authorities and defining the course of the nation, with due respect for the fundamental rights of Nicaraguan citizens, without exceptions and exclusions.
We affirm, yet again, that only democratic coexistence opens up real opportunities for employment, justice, better salaries and equal opportunities, and thus for improving the living conditions of families. Quite the opposite happens in dictatorial regimes, where the rights of all are threatened, including today’s holders of the illusion of control and security.
We have witnessed and denounced:
- The late call for elections and an electoral calendar that leaves out some important aspects of any transparent and democratic process.
- The refusal to accept independent, national and international observers.
- The exclusion of opposition political forces by way of divesting their legitimate representatives from legal representation.
- The appropriation by the ruling political group of the whole electoral structure, including the municipal, regional and departmental electoral councils.
- The use of collaborationist groups as a means to show a fake pluralism.
- The anomalous voter registration process and the setting up of the electoral roll.
- The recall of the right of representation and the coup d’état against the legislative branch through the stripping of their condition of deputies twenty-eight representatives elected by more than thirty percent of the voters at the 2011 elections.
- The attempt to establish a one-party system and to impose a dynastic regime by nominating Mrs. Rosario Murillo candidate to the Vice-Presidency of the Republic.
- The artificial creation of international friction with the aim of distracting voters’ attention and setting up conflict scenarios, regardless of their serious consequences for entrepreneurs, exporters, workers and the national economy as a whole.
The facts so far described confirm that what we are witnessing is a crude maneuver aimed at distorting the popular will, and not, by any means, a genuine electoral process.