Robert Wood, Deputy Spokesman
October 23, 2008
Nicaragua's Electoral Climate
We have noted recent developments in Nicaragua that call into question the credibility of the municipal elections, scheduled for November 9, as an expression of the will of the Nicaraguan people. These developments include the decertification of two opposition parties and interference with non-governmental organizations that are working to promote respect for human rights, rule of law, and economic development in Nicaragua. Released on October 23, 2008
We are also concerned that the Supreme Electoral Council has generally not processed requests by domestic and international groups to observe the upcoming election in a timely manner, thereby preventing them from doing so.
The United States calls on the Government of Nicaragua to ensure that the campaign and the elections will be free of intimidation, violence, and harassment of Nicaraguan voters wishing to exercise their right to vote. In light of Article 23 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, we call on the Government of Nicaragua to create the conditions for free and fair elections by allowing opposition parties, the press, and the people of Nicaragua to express their views freely and peacefully, granting all political parties the right to participate in the elections, and inviting credible domestic and international groups to observe the elections.