Nicaraguans vote today in the country’s electionsas the international community raises concerns about the legitimacy of the process, following the arrests of dozens of opposition leaders.
Many Nicaraguans have raised questions about whether they would vote in elections due to widespread mistrust of their institutions.
Some background: The Ortega government harshly repressed opposition figures during the 2018 anti-government protests. At least 322 people died then, with thousands injured and hundreds arrested. At the time, UN human rights experts accused the government of human rights violations against the protesters. Ortega said that the UN report “is nothing more than an instrument of the politics of death, of the politics of terror, of the politics of lies, of the politics of infamy.”
The government of former President Daniel Ortega has detained dozens of people since the end of May, including seven presidential candidates. Opposition leaders, student leaders, businessmen and activists have also been targeted.
Many of the dozens of detainees since May have been accused of vague violations of so-called “national security”, which, according to human rights groups, is a clear sign that Ortega is doing everything possible to eliminate dissent and crush any competition before the election, when he hopes to secure his fourth consecutive term as president.