President of Nicaragua Daniel Ortega and Vice-president Rosario Murillo want to win the elections without competition. Their decision, implemented by the Supreme Electoral Council, on 6 August to strip the last remaining political opposition party of its legal personality ahead of the general elections in November crushes the prospects of a credible and legitimate electoral process. The opposition has been eliminated. Nicaraguans are being deprived of the basic human and civil right to vote in a credible, inclusive and transparent election in line with Nicaragua’s Constitution and international human rights laws and standards.
The EU has firmly condemned the adoption of restrictive laws and the continued systematic repression and arbitrary detention of presidential pre-candidates, opposition leaders, student leaders, peasant movement leaders, journalists and business representatives. President Ortega and VP Murillo must stop this autocratic spiral and change course. The EU urges the Nicaraguan authorities to liberate all political prisoners, reinstate political parties, repeal restrictive laws and allow free and fair elections with the aim of reconciliation and a democratic solution. The civic unity of all Nicaraguan social, economic and political actors in favour of peaceful democratic change remains indispensable to build a better future. The EU will work with the international community to defend dialogue and democracy and to promote the respect of the rule of law and human rights in Nicaragua.
In this context, the Council on 30 July decided to impose targeted sanctions on eight more individuals responsible for serious human rights violations in Nicaragua and/or whose actions undermined democracy or the rule of law. This decision followed persistent attempts at dialogue and critical, but constructive engagement with the Nicaraguan authorities. The EU will continue to use all its instruments to support a democratic, peaceful, and negotiated solution to the political crisis in Nicaragua.