Nicaraguan party presents presidential candidate despite Sandinista arrests European Union Daniel Ortega Europe Liberty

A conservative coalition on Monday registered a former leader of the 1980s Contra rebels as a presidential candidate to challenge the president’s reelection bid Daniel ortega in the November 7 elections in Nicaragua.

Citizens for Freedom The coalition registered Oscar Sobalvarro, a rancher and former commander of the US-backed rebellion against the Ortega government in the 1980s. This happened despite calls from some opposition parties to boycott the race. after Ortega arrested most of his potential opponents.

“The country has suffered too much harassment and repression, and Nicaraguans deserve to live in peace,” Sobalvarro said.

The conservative coalition has appointed Berenice Quezada, who was crowned Miss Nicaragua in 2017, as vice-president.

As expected, the Sandinista The party nominated Ortega for re-election as president and his wife, Rosarillo Murillo, for re-election as vice-president. In a unanimous show of hands among 2,932 party delegates at 28 video-linked regional meetings, all delegates raised their hands for Ortega and Murillo.

Monday was the candidate registration deadline.

With at least seven opposition candidates jailed on vague charges of treason, critics doubt the presence of long-standing candidates like Sobalvarro would do anything but lend a thin veil of legitimacy to an already discredited election in which Ortega, 75 years old, is seeking a fourth consecutive mandate. .

Election authorities allied with Ortega had previously banned two opposition parties from running candidates.

the European Union Monday imposed sanctions on Murillo and seven other senior officials accused of serious human rights violations or undermining democracy. The first lady and dozens of other regime leaders are already facing US sanctions.

The EU headquarters said in a statement that its sanctions, which include asset freezes and travel bans in Europe, “target individuals and are designed in this way so as not to harm the Nicaraguan people or the Nicaraguan economy “. The latest decision brings the total number of Nicaraguan officials subject to EU sanctions to 14.

Over the past two months, Nicaraguan police have arrested and detained around two dozen opposition figures. Most of those arrested during the crackdown are being held incommunicado, in secret places and without access to lawyers.

Ortega alleges that the country’s street protests in April 2018 were part of an attempted coup organized with foreign support.

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