Daniel Ortega advances in his lifelong dream: a one-party regime in Nicaragua

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The assignment of 100 percent of the mayoralties to the government party in elections tailored to its needs, puts Nicaragua on a par with political systems such as the of North Korea, the Iraq of Saddam Hussein or the Cuba of the Castro brothers

Daniel Ortega advances in his lifelong dream: a single party regime in Nicaragua

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Fabián Medina Sánchezfrom Managua, Nicaragua< i class="i-share-btn print">

Daniel Ortega advances in his lifelong dream: a single party regime in Nicaragua

Daniel Ortega celebrated this night Tuesday the results of the municipal elections that gave him control of all the mayor's offices in Nicaragua. (Photo 19 Digital)

The declaration of the Sandinista Front, the government party in Nicaragua, as the winner of one hundred percent of the mayorships during the municipal elections held on November 6, has been interpreted as the definitive step towards the < b>single partywhich Daniel Ortega intends to install in Nicaragua.

“We are facing a single-party regime,” says the member of the Political Council of the opposition organization Blue and White National Unity (UNAB). “The multiparty system,” he says, “is not only that there are several political parties, but that there is electoral competition between those parties, which obviously no longer exists in Nicaragua because the electoral system is annihilated, totally subordinated to the regime.”

During these municipal elections, which have been denounced as “electoral farce”for the opposition, the government party competed against five other parties, generally small and that have shown affinity with the government. They are popularly known as “stilt parties” because of their collaborationist attitude towards the ruling party and because of the resources they receive from the public budget.

The Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) declared the Sandinista Front, the party of Daniel Ortega, as the winner in the 153 municipalities in the country, all the mayors in dispute, with 73.7 percent of the two million 108 thousand 003 votes, in 99.13 percent of the Vote Receiving Boards (JRV) counted until last Monday afternoon.

However, the independent electoral observation body Open Ballot Boxes affirmed that the abstention in these elections amounted to 82.7 percent of the 3.7 million called to vote in what he called “the worst elections in history.” The body observed the elections through a clandestine network of 1,600 citizens.

“This year an unprecedented vote coercion strategy was documented, people were controlled and watched one by one, to ensure that they went to the polls with their families, on the other hand there was also information of a large number of people who they attended to vote for fear of reprisals that could mean the evidence that they did not attend to vote, ”says Open Ballot Boxes in its report.

Daniel Ortega advances in his lifelong dream: a single party regime in Nicaragua

The electoral court is made up of people loyal to Daniel Ortega. (Photo 19 Digital)

For the previous municipal elections, in 2017, the ruling Sandinista Front won 135 of the 153 mayoralties in dispute, through total control of the electoral apparatus and the elimination of the main opposition party of that time, the Independent Liberal Party (PLI). , whose stamps were legally delivered to another political group in a dark judicial maneuver.

Even with the majority of the mayorships in his hands, last July, the Ortega regime militarily took over the five mayorships where mayors of the opposition party Ciudadanos por la Libertad (CxL) were elected, arguing that the political group no longer had legal status. . The five mayoralties belong to traditionally opposition strongholds in the municipalities of Murra, Pantasma, San Sebastián de Yalí, El Cuá and El Almendro.

The assignment of one hundred percent of the mayoralties was the great surprise of the day because it was expected that some mayor's offices would be handed over to the collaborationist parties to simulate the electoral game.

“If in the last elections he left 18 mayorships for the satellite parties, this time I consider that he is going to leave them less, perhaps half of what he left them in the last elections,” political analyst Eliseo Núñez, who however, he warned: “Any result, even one that is adverse to the Sandinista Front in a municipality, can only occur because it was decided beforehand by the government party.”

For Héctor Mairena in Nicaragua lives “an authoritarian and totalitarian system” and “virtually single party”. “Now he hasn't even kept up appearances by giving some allied parties some municipal governments. The entire state, including the municipal sphere, is marked by illegitimacy. Last year he annihilated the (presidential) elections and reduced them to a farce, he has repeated it now with the municipal electoral farce. The adjudication of the 153 mayorships is a concretion of that model”.

The single party system for Nicaragua is an old dream of Daniel Ortega. The Nicaraguan dictator has the Cuban system as a model of “democracy” and considers that “political parties serve to divide society.” This is how he expressed it 13 years ago, on April 22, 20009, in the Mesa Redonda program on Cuban television.

“In Cuba there is democracy, and a democracy in which the people are not divided, because in the democracies that have been imposed on us, from the moment that parties are promoted, the division of the peoples is being promoted, a division that has led even to wars between parties”, he said then.

“Cuba has a model where the Cuban people are not divided between green, red, yellow and orange. No, it is simply the Cuban people, its citizens, without those partisan flags and without those campaigns where the interests of big capital play. The Cuban people are the ones who choose their authorities, without the stridency of the elections in the bourgeois democracies imposed by the West, they are imposed because the Yankees are there, the Europeans in the same direction. Why? Because it is the best way to dominate us.”

“ Multi-party system is nothing more than a way to disintegrate the nation”, he concluded. “That is the multi-party system, disintegrating the nation, confronting the nation, dividing the nation, dividing our peoples.”

Daniel Ortega advances in his lifelong dream: a single party regime in Nicaragua

Empty polling stations this Sunday during the municipal elections reported opposition organizations. (Photo UNAB)

More recently, on March 14, 2022, Juan Carlos Ortega Murillo, son of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, revived the issue in a tweet. “The political party system must reinvent itself or take the healthiest path, which is to make it disappear and establish the single-party model, empowering local governments with greater management capacity over the national government.”

The sociologist and former member of the Sandinista Front, Oscar René Vargas, considers that Ortega seeks to establish a single party system because it is the one that, for now, helps him maintain power and not because he ideologically believes in it. “Daniel Ortega will always use the method that suits him best to maintain power because that is his only objective. In 1999, when he was in the opposition, he was promoting a parliamentary system because there he was looking for the door to return to power as prime minister. Now he doesn't even remember the parliamentary system that he proposed.”

“ His interest is to remain in power and whatever he says today will say the opposite tomorrow if it suits him. It is pendulum”, adds Vargas.

For Mairena, this progress began after Ortega came to power in 2007. “He began a process of concentration of power and dismantling of the democratic institutions that had been built with ups and downs since 1990,” he says. “With 2018, the authoritarian and totalitarian character of Ortegaism was exposed. With Ortega's last term, which begins in January 2022, the authoritarian and totalitarian state is being institutionalized.”

If in the 2016 presidential elections Ortega eliminated the Independent Liberal Party (PLI), at that time the main opposition party, for the 2021 presidential elections he went all the way: he outlawed the three parties that showed any independence, he chose a court composed only of people loyal to him and had seven citizens arrested who pretended to run as opposition candidates.

The regime left six parties alive that have shown some affinity with Ortega and that do not represent a real danger of competition.

“I do not believe that Ortega will take the step of annihilating these parties that they are functional, collaborators, that the only thing they do is suck the treasury budget. He probably keeps that formality. But, before the international community, it is clear that the electoral competition in Nicaragua has been annihilated”, affirms Mairena.

Eliseo Núñez considers that in Nicaragua there is still a long way to go before a “single party” system is formally installed. “Single party systems have a specific legal framework that mandates that elections take place within the single party and not outside of it. The Constitution should be changed. Ortega has not yet decided to take that step, but I do believe that he is going down that path, it is the most comfortable path to have all the controls of the State. The powers emanate from the party and not from the citizen”.

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