The country is now controlled by one single party after president Daniel Ortega stripped opposing parliamentarians from their status.
The Electoral Tribunal of Nicaragua delivered Friday total control of Parliament to President Daniel Ortega, as it stripped the opposition MPs of their seats.
The Nicaraguan president consolidates all power in his figure, with increasingly authoritarian shades, and now imposes a hegemonic party regime in the Central American country.
The court ruling orders the directors of the National Assembly seats to be dispossessed of their positions even though they were elected in 2011 by the PLI, the party commanded by the opposition leader Eduardo Montealegre.
On June 8, the Supreme Court had already stripped Montealegre of legal representation in the party. With this decision, the Nicaraguan justice left the opposition without a polling station to participate in November’s presidential election, in which Ortega, from the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), will be the only major candidate in contention.
The Court gave the representation of the Independent Liberal Party (PLI) to a political petty hitherto that was unknown in Nicaragua, Pedro Reyes, who demanded obedience to the 20 deputies elected in 2011 by the PLI and its ally, the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS).
These opposition representatives, who since their election in Parliament have denounced the abuses committed by Ortega, became an uncomfortable voice to the president for refusing to obey Reyes, who is considered a “silent partner” of Ortega. who asked the Court to strip political opponents of their status and their seats. The request was approved on Thursday.
Thus, Reyes goes to the pages of history of Nicaragua as the politician who gave all power to Ortega, considered by the opposition as an authoritarian leader who wants to impose a new family dynasty in the country.
Nicaragua has been in the hands of dictators for most of its recent history, which has made the country a victim of continuous internal civil wars.
Several leaders of the MRS, founded in 1994 by former vice president and writer Sergio Ramirez and formed by dissidents of the Sandinista Front, denounced in a statement posted on social networks that the president “has cleared the National Assembly of deputies who show opposition to his plans.”
Meanwhile, the Citizens Movement for Freedom, which brings together supporters and opponents of Montealegre, also issued a critical note with the court decision. “They can everyone and take away our rights but not the dignity and principles,” he remarked.
So far it is not clear what will be the strategy of the opposition after being left out of the electoral competition without its main strength: parliamentary representation. Some voices from within the opposition movement are calling for a change of strategy and new leadership.
“Leadership is needed, but one that understands that it is temporary and dependent on ideas, an ideological platform, not a party leader or owner per secula seculorum to be followed for ever and ever.”
That is precisely what happens to liberals and many other parties in Latin America; there is no theory of succession. What people in Latin American countries experience is permanent internal strife that ultimately ends up destroying any progress that is achieved over a number of years, because so-called leaders only want to get to power to serve themselves.
Unopposed and with all powers under his control, Ortega now simply has to solve a problem: find a more or less legitimate formula to ensure family succession in power to establish a new dynasty.
The president has already placed their children in public office and in front of the administration of companies that have enriched his family under the huge oil cooperation with Venezuela, but it has not yet designated any of his relatives as his successor.
Nicaraguans gossip and rumors suggest that Ortega’s wife, Rosario Murillo, a powerful first lady who controls all public administration and co-govern with Ortega, will be the next person to occupy the presidential office.
The president has, according to the electoral law, until November 2 to name his running mate. In Managua it is believed that the line of succession reaches Murillo’s feet.