The dictatorial President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, is now armed with a new power, under which he can unilaterally declare any of his political rivals “traitors or terrorists”, and thereby prevent them from running against him in the next presidential election.
The angry opposition has called on the president to declare himself a ‘terrorist’, pointing to his harsh 2018 crackdown on opposition members protesting against his government policies.
The new law, passed earlier this week, has also angered the United States as well as the Organization of American States (OAS). The White House has responded by slapping sanctions on three more officials serving under Ortega.
The OAS has urged the government to repeal the legislation saying it “would deny the Nicaraguan people the right to freely choose their representatives” and turn the 2021 election into “an imposition.”
The United States has long imposed sanctions on about 27 people in the country, including the family members of Ortega and dozens of senior government officials and legislators.
Ortega believes that the opposition parties pressed the US administration to sanction his regime. Therefore, he often labeled his political rivals as terrorists and traitors.
The enactment of this new law confirms that the 75-years-old president wants to rule the Central American country for many more years to come. Ortega has already exceeded his term limits.
Nicaragua is scheduled to go to the polls in November 2021.