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Ortega Threatens to Withdraw Country From OAS

August 29, 2008

President Daniel Ortega this week threatened to withdraw Nicaragua from the Organization of America States (OAS) as the international organization begins to look at the exclusion of political parties in Nicaragua’s electoral process and consider a sexual abuse complaint against the Nicaraguan president by his stepdaughter, Zoilamérica Narváez.

Calling the Washington-based organization an “instrument of the empire and oligarchy,” Ortega said Nicaragua would revoke its membership from the organization before ceding to its “impositions.” “Nicaragua will keep marching forward with or without the OAS,” Ortega said in an Aug. 23 event commemorating the Sandinista literacy campaign.

Ortega’s comments came after OAS Secretary General José Insulza announced plans to raise the issue of the Ortega government’s exclusion of minority opposition political parties in the OAS’ Permanent Council. Nicaragua’s electoral exclusion is a “serious problem,” Insulza said.

Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council decided in June to ban the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS) and Conservative Party (PC) for alleged technical reasons. The parties claim they have been excluded illegally and are pushing the OAS to make a declaration on the matter.

“We have made no gains in holding clean elections in the region if a significant number of candidates in a country can’t participate,” Insulza said.

Ortega responded: “Nicaraguans decide the electoral process in Nicaragua.” The Liberal Constitutional Party (PLC) released a statement condemning Ortega’s threat to pull out of the OAS and called for international observers.

 

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