International electoral mission praises Nicaraguan elections

NSCAG News | on: Tuesday, 8 November 2016

A group of Latin American electoral experts has been in Nicaragua since 6 May, monitoring all aspects of the electoral process.

These included former ministers, members of parliament, presidents of electoral commissions and other with substantial knowledge and experience from Ecuador, Uruguay, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Colombia.

Raul Alconada, former foreign minister of Argentina, presented the findings of the group at a press conference on 7 November in Managua.

He noted that the level of participation was higher than the average in Latin America, and highlighted the fact that it would be a challenge ‘of the first order in any country, to reach what has been achieved in Nicaragua.’

Other aspects of note were the clarity and distribution of election materials, and the efficient functioning polling stations. He went on to highlight the ‘massive participation of women’ as election officials and to praise the security forces for their role in ensuring an atmosphere of order and calm devoid of conflicts.

Raul Obregon, president of the polling organisation M&R consultores, highlighted the exemplary level of civic responsibility and participation including young people and women and praised the fact that it was a peaceful, efficient process.

Fitch Ratings, one of the big three global credit agencies issued a statement on 7 November supporting’ continuity of the country's macro and fiscal policies. The statement highlighted the fact that the ‘Ortega administration’s has improved Nicaragua's public debt dynamics, reduced external imbalances, and saw solid economic growth and declining inflation.

However, with insufficient problems to deal with relating to their own elections, the US State Department issued a statement on 7 November, expressing ‘deep concern’ about the ‘flawed’ Nicaraguan electoral process . There is a real fear now that after its own elections, the US will ally itself once more with Nicaragua's right wing opposition and seek to undermine and destabilise a country which has done nothing wrong apart from implementing a socialist agenda with which the US disagrees.

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