Nicaraguan Supreme Court Ruling on Re-election

Press Statement
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 22, 2009

We are very concerned about the manner in which the Constitutional Chamber of the Nicaraguan Supreme Court reached a decision on October 19 regarding re-election for Nicaraguan officials, including the President. We share the concern of many Nicaraguans that this situation is part of a larger pattern of questionable and irregular governmental actions, beginning before the flawed municipal elections of November 2008, that threatens to undermine the foundations of Nicaraguan democracy and calls into question the Nicaraguan government's commitment to uphold the Inter-American Democratic Charter. The ruling appears to short circuit, through legal maneuverings, the open and transparent consideration by the Nicaraguan people of the possibility for presidential re-election.

As we approach the first anniversary of the November 2008 municipal elections, it is important to note that decisions that have such a profound impact on democratic governance should be taken in a manner that fosters a sense of legitimacy and ownership among those who are governed. Attempts to short circuit constitutional authority, regardless of ideology or country, threaten democratic governance and are of concern to all members of the Organization of American States.

PRN: 2009/1051