Bishop warns of irregularities in Nicaraguan electoral preparations

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Auxiliary Bishop Silvio Baez of Managua, Nicaragua is warning that preparations for the presidential elections scheduled for Nov. 6 are riddled with irregularities.
 
The bishop said the current electoral process in Nicaragua, in which President Daniel Ortega will seek re-election, is “rooted in corruption” because his candidacy is unconstitutional.

Ortega is seeking re-election despite a constitutional provision that does not allow presidents to serve two consecutive terms. Justices sympathetic to Ortega swayed the country’s Supreme Court to rule that the provision is not applicable.
 
In a May 3 interview on Nicaraguan television, Bishop Baez recalled that in the last year, the Bishops’ Conference of Nicaragua has issued two pastoral letters warning of the grave harm Ortega’s agenda would bring to the rule of the law and the country’s constitution.
 
He said Ortega has only been able to run again for re-election because of his “manipulation” and “dirty tricks.” His candidacy “is a sort of original sin that goes to the root of these elections,” Bishop Baez stated.
 
Bishop Baez expressed his lack of confidence in the Supreme Electoral Council, whose members have been allowed to extend their own terms after President Ortega issued an executive order granting them an extension.
 
The bishop said international observers need to be present to ensure the November elections are fair.
 
Nicaragua will elect a new president, 90 congressmen and 20 representatives to the Central American Parliament on Nov. 6.

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