Insight Online News
Washington, Nov 8 : US President Joe Biden says the Sunday general election in Nicaragua was not democratic and Washington will hold the country’s current government accountable.
“What Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, orchestrated today was a pantomime election that was neither free nor fair, and most certainly not democratic,” Biden said in a Sunday statement, adding that “the United States, in close coordination with other members of the international community, will use all diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal to support the people of Nicaragua and hold accountable the Ortega-Murillo government.”
Biden accused Nicaragua’s government of having imprisoned nearly 40 opposition figures since May, including potential presidential candidates.
On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives approved a Senate-passed bill that gives the Biden administration authority to implement new sanctions against Nicaragua, including against officials in Ortega’s administration, his family members, officials of Nicaragua’s central bank, members of the Supreme Electoral Council and party members.
Nicaraguans were electing the president and parliament for the next five years on Sunday. The ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front had confirmed longtime President Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, as their candidate and running mate, respectively.
Elections were held in a calm atmosphere with a high turnout observed, the president of the Supreme Electoral Council, Brenda Rocha, told Sputnik. Rocha emphasized that US threats of more sanctions and claims that elections in Nicaragua are not democratic failed to stand in the way of a transparent and fair voting process. The head of the electoral council emphasized that 15 political parties participated in the elections, which were held in accordance with the will of the Nicaraguan people, and not foreign powers.
Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada told Sputnik that the country plans to strengthen its cooperation with Russia after the Sunday vote.