The United States is deeply concerned that the Nicaraguan Government under Daniel Ortega has rebuffed calls by its own citizens and the international community — including the Organization of American States, the European Union, and the United Nations — to build confidence in the electoral process by passing meaningful reforms to enable a free and fair election in November.
Instead, on Tuesday, May 4, the Nicaraguan National Assembly approved legislation that will deny the people of Nicaragua genuinely free and fair elections. The electoral measures, which run counter to those called for in the OAS General Assembly’s October 2020 resolution, fail to provide for timely and transparent reporting of results or for independent domestic or international election observation. They also codify troubling new grounds for excluding candidates from participation and give the Nicaraguan National Police the power to prohibit party meetings and campaign events. Separately, the National Assembly also approved magistrates to the electoral oversight body, the Supreme Electoral Council, all of whom are staunch loyalists of President Ortega.
With these actions, as well as ongoing repression of human rights, President Ortega and his supporters are signaling a disturbing disregard for the will of the Nicaraguan people and Nicaragua’s commitments under the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
The United States will continue to use the diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal to support Nicaraguans’ calls for democracy, justice, and free and fair elections.