RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Nicaraguan presidential hopeful Cristiana Chamorro said Monday that the unity of the various opposition forces, currently fragmented, is “imperative” to defeat the country’s president Sandinista Daniel Ortega, in the general elections of next November 7.
“Unity is imperative, and that the (presidential) pre-candidates agree on the mechanism for the selection of a single candidate, as proposed by the Good Will Commission”, said in a message Chamorro Barrios, daughter of former president Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (1990-1997) and whom the Sandinista government has opened an investigation for alleged money laundering.
The Good Will Commission, composed of two veteran opposition politicians and former MLB baseball pitcher Dennis Martinez, has promoted a document called ‘United Nicaragua First’. It commits the dissident pre-candidates to the Presidency submit themselves to a selection process for a single presidential candidacy.
This Commission has insisted on the opposition unity after the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE), managed by Ortega’s supporters, dissolved two opposition parties, the Ministry of the Interior launched an investigation for alleged money laundering against Chamorro Barrios, and the National Police is preventing two other pre-candidates from leaving their homes.
According to a poll by the firm CID Gallup, Chamorro Barrios is the opposition figure with the highest probability of winning the elections over the Sandinistas.
THE ASPIRANTS IN FAVOR OF A SINGLE CANDIDATE
The document of the Good Will Commission has been signed by seven of the 11 opposition presidential aspirants.
The signatories are Chamorro Barrios, academic Félix Maradiaga, businessman Juan Sebastián Chamorro, peasant Medardo Mairena, Afro-descendant George Henríquez Cayasso, journalist Miguel Mora and Contra leader Luis Fley.
While the other female candidate, María Eugenia Alonso, has not been able to sign because, she said, the Nicaraguan Police prevent her from leaving her house, located in the city of León (northwest).
The Commission has also invited pre-candidates Arturo Cruz, Noel Vidaurre and Américo Treminio, all candidates for the opposition Alianza Ciudadanos por la Libertad, to which Ciudadanos por la Libertad (CxL) belongs and who have so far rejected or ignored this call.
The Commission is made up of the Nicaraguan ambassador to the United States and Minister of Education during the first Sandinista government (1979-1990) Carlos Tünnermann, radio entrepreneur and former presidential candidate Fabio Gadea Mantilla and former Major League Baseball pitcher Martínez, all opponents of Ortega.
Nicaragua is scheduled to hold presidential and legislative elections on November 7.
Ortega, who returned to power in 2007 and governed with his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, runs for the eighth time for the presidency in the November elections.
The opponents, who are fragmented, are looking for ways to defeat the Sandinistas, led by Ortega, 75 years old, the last 14 years in his second stage as president of Nicaragua, after coordinating a government junta from 1979 to 1985 and presiding over the country for the first time from 1985 to 1990.