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Nicaraguan Strongman Ortega Expels Opposition from Congress

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Aug 1, 2016, 1:59 pm
Among the deputies dismissed by the ruling party of Nicaragua are Eduardo Montealegre and the head of the party Wilber López . ( La Prensa )
Among the deputies dismissed by the ruling party of Nicaragua are Eduardo Montealegre and the head of the party Wilber López . ( La Prensa )

EspañolTwenty-eight congressmen elected in 2011 under the banner of the opposition Independent Liberal Party (PLI) were officially removed from their seats by order of the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE), observed by the Board of the National Assembly, which is controlled by the ruling Frente Sandinista National liberation Front (FSLN).

The CSE accepted the request of the newly appointed president of the Independent Liberal Party (PLI) Pedro Reyes to dismiss the deputies who did not accept his leadership.

Congresswoman and President of Parliament Iris Montenegro said the resolution is in compliance with the provisions of the resolution sent on Thursday, July 28.

The Supreme Court (CSJ), which has been challenged for being dominated by the FSLN, issued a ruling on June 8 that removed the legal representation of PLI Eduardo Montealegre and granted it to Reyes. Under the leadership of Montealegre, the PLI represented the second political force in the country.

The PLI was an ally to the dissident Sandinista Renewal Movement (MRS) in the 2011 elections, and it won 52 seats between its members and alternates.

Destitute Deputies 

Members who were dismissed are the same 16 who were yesterday declared as independents. Twelve of those will lose their place as alternate deputies, Reyes explained.

They can’t impeach us for being independent deputies, this would be a coup to the AN [National Assembly]

Members who declared themselves independents yesterday to the First Secretary of the National Assembly are: Wilber López, Eduardo Montealegre, Maria Eugenia Sequeira, Corina Leiva, Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, Alberto Lacayo, Francisco Valdivia, Javier Vallejos, Armando Herrera , Luis Callejas, Carlos Langrand, Indalecio Rodriguez, Raul Herrera and Boanerges Matus Lazo.

Four of the dismissed deputies belong to the MRS , including the Sandinista former Foreign Minister in the 1980s Victor Hugo Tinoco and Enrique Saenz, both of whom are principals.

Let it be known, a coup has been started in Nicaragua. The electoral power is impeaching opposition to Ortega’s dictatorship.

Reyes announced on July 15 that he would ask the CSE to dismiss the deputies of the Alliance Caucus Independent Liberal Party (Bapli) for not recognizing his leadership.

Reyes confirmed that he made this request on July 25 and was accepted yesterday at 3:30 p.m., supposedly an hour before deputies declared themselves independent.

The now former Deputy Liberal Eliseo Nunez said they have no method for blocking the dmismissal, but they will seek to influence results with peaceful demonstrations.

The politician also said he was aware the decision of the CSE is not a result of the request of Pedro Reyes, legal representative of the PLI, but an order of “the front,” referring to the ruling party led by Daniel Ortega.

Nuñez said these developments do not originate from internal conflicts of the political institution, but “comes from orders of President Daniel Ortega to maintain the repression.”

Elena Toledo Elena Toledo

Educator by trade, social-media apprentice, activist for a democratic Honduras, and free thinker. Follow her on Twitter @NenaToledo.