Nicaraguan police take control of 5 municipalities ahead of elections, opposition says


A police vehicle drives past the office of the Nicaraguan Language Academy, closed after the country’s parliament, controlled by allies of President Daniel Ortega, shut down at least 83 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) according to local media, in Managua, Nicaragua May 31, 2022. REUTERS/Maynor Valenzuela

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July 4 (Reuters) – Nicaraguan police have taken control of five municipalities ruled by a party opposed to President Daniel Ortega in recent days, sacking elected leaders and installing ruling party sympathizers in their place, organizations said on Monday. of opposition.

This decision comes four months before local elections in 153 municipalities across the country.

On Monday morning, police raided four town halls run by the opposition Citizens for Freedom party, or Ciudadanos por la Libertad (CxL). Another in Pantasma – an opposition stronghold also in CxL hands – was raided over the weekend.

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“All legitimately elected city governments under the banner of Citizens for Freedom have been taken over by the regime,” CxL president Kitty Monterrey said on Twitter.

“I strongly condemn the arbitrary seizure by the regime of municipalities…elected by universal suffrage, and demand the safety and security of their officials and mayors,” she added.

The Nicaraguan government and police did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

CxL was banned in 2021 ahead of presidential elections where President Daniel Ortega was re-elected for another five-year term in a vote decried by the international community as a sham, but municipalities already ruled by the party remained between their hands so far. .

During last year’s election season, opposition candidates were arrested and some have since been tried for treason.

The upcoming municipal elections in November have been condemned by CxL leaders, who are in exile, as a “farce” due to the lack of opposition parties.

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Reuters staff reports; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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