Democratic Conditions in Nicaragua

Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 25, 2012

The final report of the Organization of American States’ (OAS) election observation mission to Nicaragua supports the democratic aspirations of the Nicaraguan people and expresses many of the concerns we share with regard to the conduct of recent elections.

As noted by international observers and Nicaraguan civil society groups, Nicaragua’s recent elections were not conducted in a transparent and impartial manner, and the entire electoral process was marred by significant irregularities. The elections marked a setback to democracy in Nicaragua and undermined the ability of Nicaraguans to hold their government accountable.

The OAS report provides a basis for the OAS to assess all available initiatives to strengthen democracy in Nicaragua, consistent with the principles enshrined in the Inter-American Democratic Charter. We will work with our partners around the Americas and elsewhere to conduct such an assessment, so as to hold the Government of Nicaragua accountable for the timely implementation of the report’s recommendations. We also look forward to reviewing the report of the European Union’s election observation mission, which is expected soon.

As part of a review of our assistance and policy toward Nicaragua, the United States will continue to apply aggressive scrutiny to project loans at the Inter-American Development Bank and World Bank, and we will oppose any loan proposals that do not meet these institutions’ high standards, or do not provide sufficient development impact.

The United States calls on the Nicaraguan government to uphold democratic processes and protect universal human rights. We will continue to support civil society and promote human rights in Nicaragua. The Nicaraguan people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have their voices heard; they deserve no less than fair, free, transparent elections, and leaders who are accountable to them.

PRN: 2012/124