Response to Elections in Nicaragua

Press Statement
Mark C. Toner
Deputy Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 10, 2011

The Nicaraguan Government has announced that Daniel Ortega will serve another term as president. International and unaccredited domestic observers have publicly stated that the electoral process was marred by significant irregularities. The major opposition candidates have rejected the results.

The Nicaraguan elections were not transparent. As we stated on October 31, we remain very concerned about irregularities throughout the Nicaraguan electoral process. We specifically noted the Nicaraguan Government’s failure to accredit certain credible domestic organizations as observers, difficulties voters faced in obtaining proper identification, and pronouncements by Nicaraguan authorities that electoral candidates might be disqualified after the elections. On election day, some observers were denied access to voting centers.

We agree with the European Union electoral mission that the Supreme Electoral Council did not operate in a transparent and impartial manner. We also share the concerns of the Organization of American States electoral mission regarding irregularities in the electoral process and on election day itself, and we join the OAS in calling upon Nicaraguan authorities to investigate acts of violence perpetrated on election day. All of these actions, and a lack of full accounting of ballots cast, reduce our confidence in the outcome of the elections. We also lament any loss of life as a result of the election and reiterate the EU’s call for all parties to resolve their disagreements through peaceful means.

The United States remains committed to defending democratic processes and universal human rights, and we encourage the Nicaraguan Government to do the same. This is fully consistent with our common commitment to representative democracy, as expressed in the Inter-American Democratic Charter. We will continue to support civil society and promote human rights in Nicaragua both now and in the years to come.

PRN: 2011/1915