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Electoral Transparency Needed In Nicaragua


Voters search the electoral rolls for the location of their respective polling table during general elections in Managua, Nicaragua, Sunday Nov. 6, 2011.

We agree with the European Union electoral mission that the Supreme Electoral Council did not operate in a transparent and impartial manner.

Nicaragua's Supreme Electoral Council has declared President Daniel Ortega the winner of the November 6 presidential election, paving the way for a third term for the Central American nation's leader. The United States and other countries are watching the situation closely.

Two major opposition political parties and some independent observers have rejected the election results due to significant irregularities in the process. Voters had difficulties in getting proper identification. The Nicaraguan government failed to accredit certain credible domestic organizations as election observers. Opposition political parties were allowed relatively few poll watchers and, on Election Day, some observers were denied access to voting centers. Some Nicaraguan authorities even declared that electoral candidates may be disqualified after the election.

We agree with the European Union electoral mission that the Supreme Electoral Council did not operate in a transparent and impartial manner. We join the Organization of American States in calling upon Nicaraguan authorities to investigate acts of violence perpetrated on Election Day.

The United States has expressed these concerns, shared by many in Nicaragua and the international community, with the government there and with partners in the region. Lack of transparency and failure to account for every ballot undermines confidence in any democratic electoral process.

The United States will continue to stand up for inter-American democratic principles in accordance with the Inter-American Democratic Charter. The promotion and defense of democracy is a commitment of all members of the OAS.

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