MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) — Municipal elections in Nicaragua concluded on Sunday, after an election day with a low influx of voters and inquiries into complaints of arrests of opponents and other acts of political violence.
Closed at 6:00 pm local time (00:00 GMT on Monday) set up to suffocate 3.7 million Nicaraguans over the age of 16 and responsible for the election of 153 mayors, 153 deputy mayors and more than 6,000 councillors Happened.
In an earlier assessment of the day, the independent observatory Urnas Abiertas reported that the elections were held “under the absolute control” of the governing Sandinista Front in areas where people were forced to conduct “polls by the ruling party block by block”. To encircle them in case they vote or oppose.
According to the report, state activists were “pressured” to vote and 63% were seen in polling stations, “checkpoints set up” and monitored by Sandinista political operators, to find out For who was going to vote and who was not.
In 42% of polling stations visited, there were cases of people who were not found on the electoral rolls, some of whom were “assaulted and expelled”, while “political conversions” were detected in 41% of the centres. “Since there were posters of the Sandinista party and the election personnel dressed in party propaganda clothes indicated Urnas Ebiertas.
The agency increased the number of people detained in the election context to 17, with arrests from November 1 to November 6 in six of the country’s departments (Carazo, Managua, Masaya, Nueva Segovia, Rivas and Río San Juan).
President Ortega arrived to vote at a center in the El Carmen neighborhood, accompanied by his wife and vice president, Rosario Murillo, and their youngest daughters, Camilla and Luciana, who also voted.
The head of the Supreme Electoral Council claimed to have verified “inflows to all polling stations”, while an opposition spokesman said citizens’ participation in the elections had been “minimal”.
Meanwhile, dozens of Nicaraguans in exile in Costa Rica took to the streets of San Jose in a march to “defuse the electoral spectacle”.
Raising signs and slogans against Ortega and Murillo, protesters left La Merced Park, a symbolic meeting place for Nicaragua, and peacefully walked through several streets of the Costa Rican capital.
Nicaragua is facing a serious political crisis, which began with the social protests of April 2018, when repression by police and paramilitary forces killed 355 people, injured 2,000, with more than 1,600 detained at different times. were taken and 100,000 were deported, most of whom were refugees in Costa Rica. ,
“This electoral process is part of the consolidation of the totalitarian state of the regimes of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo,” said Ligia Gómez from Urnas Ebiertas.
In a statement via Twitter, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed its “concern” about the “arbitrary arrests” reported ahead of election day. “We urge the state to guarantee the civil and political rights of the Nicaraguan people and end the repression,” the OHCHR said.