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For more than a week at the end of last month, Nicaragua was shaken by widespread, youth-led demonstrations calling for an end to the corrupt rule of President Daniel Ortega. With his regime under pressure, Mr. Ortega’s security forces detained hundreds, and dozens were killed.
The protests subsided after Mr. Ortega agreed to hold talks with the opposition, mediated by the Catholic Church, but there is no agreement on a timetable or an agenda.
If Nicaragua’s teetering democracy is to stand a chance, the country’s disparate opposition groups must unify behind an agenda for negotiations with Mr. Ortega. Their aim should be to re-establish the rule of law through the strengthening of independent, democratic institutions. Their long-term goal should be the removal of Mr. Ortega — but through the ballot box.