Electoral officials should have learned from the post-Nov. 9 electoral upheaval that non-transparent elections are “almost synonymous with fraud,” said Alta Hooker, the president of the elections watchdog group Ethics and Transparency.
Hooker, a native of Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, is calling for transparency in the Jan. 18 mayoral elections that will take place in seven municipalities in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN).
She said the vote will be observed in an unofficial manner by some 500 observers from Ethics and Transparency, which will attempt to oversee the election process despite the government’s refusal to accredit them.
Hooker said in a statement that the Supreme Elections Council’s (CSE) refusal to invite national and international electoral observers –only creates a “caldron” of doubt that will discredit the election results, as occurred in the Nov. 9 elections in much of the rest of the country.
“We lament that the CSE continues denying itself and the electoral process the transparency and credibility that national qualified observers merit and which is demanded by the wide majority of parties and citizens,” Hooker said.