Daniel Ortega is seeking to run for president again, despite a constitutional ban against consecutive terms or holding office more than twice.
Contemporary Nicaraguan politics have always been mired in conflict, be it in response to natural disasters, U.S.-sponsored terrorism, or depressing and dire poverty. And now President Daniel Ortega is using a “contested interpretation” of the country’s constitution to try to stay in power, incensing his opposition.
Ortega has irked many of his former allies, with one former rebel fighter planning to run against him and another taking up arms in the same mountains where civil war raged for years. —JCL
The New York Times:
President Daniel Ortega’s push to stay in power using a contested interpretation of the Constitution has reignited the furor of former contras who fought his Sandinista government in the 1980s, with one former rebel taking up arms in the mountains and another vowing to oust him at the polls.
But in the absence of a post-cold-war sponsor, Nicaragua’s opposition is struggling to coordinate an electoral offensive against Mr. Ortega, whose approval ratings rose to 45 percent last month with the help of his Venezuelan-financed response to flooding that killed scores of people and forced thousands to flee their homes.
Mr. Ortega’s critics contend that he is disregarding the Constitution and turning his role as the largest Central American beneficiary of Venezuela’s leftist president, Hugo Chávez, into political capital for next year’s vote, in November.