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World News24

World News24

World News24

Blinken: Repression, manipulation stripped Nicaragua elections of any 'real significance'!

Posted on November 8 2021, 23:52pm

Blinken: Repression, manipulation stripped Nicaragua elections of any 'real significance'!

Washington: Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday issued a scathing rebuke against the “undemocratic” elections in Nicaragua, where incumbent President Daniel Ortega is expected to declare victory alongside his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo. 

Blinken’s statement comes following the close of polls in Nicaragua on Sunday and after at least 75 percent of the votes were reportedly counted in favor of Ortega, a tally criticized by the U.S. and international community as the result of elections that were neither free nor fair. 

“Nicaraguan President Ortega and Vice President Murillo have declared themselves the winners of national elections whose outcome has long been a foregone conclusion,” Blinken said in the statement. 

“The Ortega-Murillo government has deprived Nicaraguans of any real choice by dissolving all genuine opposition parties and imprisoning all the principal presidential candidates.”

Blinken said the U.S. does not recognize Ortega and Murillo’s mandate to govern.  

“This repression and electoral manipulation, widely decried by Nicaraguans and the international community, stripped the November 7 vote of any real significance,” he said.   

The secretary’s statement follows blunt condemnation issued Sunday by President Biden, who called Nicaragua’s election a “sham” process and “a pantomime election that was neither free nor fair, and most certainly not democratic.”

Blinken reiterated calls for the “immediate and unconditional” release of opposition candidates and leaders and said the U.S. would work with the international community on coordinated actions of sanctions, visa restrictions and diplomacy to “promote accountability for those complicit in supporting the Ortega-Murillo government's undemocratic acts.”  

In June, the Biden administration imposed sanctions on Ortega’s key advisers, including his daughter, after the Nicaraguan president oversaw the arrest of at least four presidential candidates, and other opposition and civil society leaders in what was described as a “wave of oppression” ahead of the November elections.   

Ortega is seeking a fourth consecutive term as president in a contest that has grabbed the attention of the U.S. and international community alleging extraordinary measures of repression and “subversion of democratic norms.”

On Sunday, The Associated Press reported that Ortega blasted the United States as interfering in the Central American country's elections, noted allegations of fraud in America's 2020 presidential contest, and said that the U.S. calls the Jan. 6 rioters who stormed the Capitol "terrorists." Ortega also reportedly claimed that the U.S. supported 2018 protests in the country, which he has sought to portray as an illegitimate coup against his leadership. 

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