Nicaragua Is Turning Into a Real-Life ‘House of Cards’

Cancilleria de Ecuador / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s quest for absolute political control has become more naked and visible than ever. His recent decision to remove the remaining checks on his power provoked a spate of critical commentaries in the international press. Thanks to skillful maneuvering by the Nicaraguan strongman, however, it is unlikely that his increasingly authoritarian rule will generate sustained domestic or international backlash.

The ever wily Ortega, now 70, has been busy accumulating power and influence over all of his nation’s institutions since he returned to the presidency. Elected in 2006, and again in 2011, he is seeking his third consecutive term on Nov. 6 — this time, with his wife, Rosario Murillo, 65, as his running mate. Over the past decade, Murillo has acquired unprecedented powers — including over the government’s social programs — and has become a de facto co-ruler with her husband.

In some respects, Murillo’s imminent rise to the vice presidency is only the most recent step in Ortega’s plan to concentrate power. Not satisfied with carrying out elections that were widely deemed fraudulent, controlling the courts, establishing indefinite re-election, disqualifying leading opposition figures from running for office, and banning independent election observers, Ortega — through his supporters on the Supreme Court — ordered the removal of 28 opposition lawmakers (16 members and 12 alternates) on July 29.

Read the full article in Foreign Policy 

Lea el artículo en español en El Confidencial aquí

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