Nicaragua 2.0 calls for protest vote

Nicaragua 2.0, a youth activist movement that endeavors to change the country’s political culture, is calling on its 5,400 followers on Facebook to cast their ballots as a “protest vote” in the Nov. 4 municipal elections.

The activist group says the “protest vote”—invalidating the ballot with a protest message—is “a democratic practice of citizen mobilization and rejection of authoritarianism, political impositions, illegality and corruption.”

In a communiqué published by the group on Facebook last Friday, Nicaragua 2.0 says the country’s current electoral system “does not offer adequate guarantees for free elections.”

Nicaragua 2.0—a name that references the newer generation of Internet technology that allows for user-submitted content—argues that Nicaragua needs new leaders and a new political culture. Reelecting the same tired candidates in an busted electoral system is not the way to move toward the change that the country requires, the group maintains.

The group, which claims to stand for rule of law and non-violent protest, notes that Nicaragua’s scandalous Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) has yet to answer for the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the previous two elections it fumbled through. In addition, the CSE has yet to publish its full and final vote count from the 2008 and 2011 elections, in violation of Nicaragua’s Electoral Code.

“We are still waiting for the results of each voting station from both those electoral processes,” the group says.

Nicaragua 2.0 also blasts the role of the so-called opposition parties, whom they accuse of demobilizing the population and deterring any type of popular protest movement against the government.

The activist group argues that the reelection bids by most mayoral candidates—prohibited by Article 147 of Nicaragua’s Constitution—is just an attempt to “legitimize the illegal reelection of Daniel Ortega” last year.

Yet despite the tarnished process, it would be an mistake to not participate on election day, Nicaragua 2.0 argues.

“The right to vote is a gain that cost the lives of thousands of Nicaraguans who fought to establish a democratic system in our country,” the group’s communiqué reads. “The citizenry should not resign itself to the prevailing illegalities and political cynicism, nor should the citizenry voluntarily cede the right to vote by simply abstaining.”

The only solution, Nicaragua 2.0 concludes, is the protest vote.

  • jeffrey

    you guys have nothing better to do? what is the problem with the current government? there is such a thing as being too much of a whiner baby and that is the impression im getting, Nicaragua is not a dictatorship and it boast many civil liberties, the government does not get involved in private life of its citizens and so far Ortega has over 50% presidential popularity his credit rating is soaring each time, the economy is growing at 6% annually and more foreign investors are stimulating the economic growth. To come and start senseless and bullshit organizations to demonize the few who opposse the current government holds no real value for following. When the people are happy and the people are free no one cares. Try living in the USA being the country that most imprisons its own citizens and then tell me which country is the flagship of the world for democratic rights.

  • Roger

    “what is the problem with the current government?”

    Corruption, censorship, media control, fraudulent elections, violence towards opposition, total control of the government branches, using taxpayer’s funds to pay millions to politicians that hold illegal government positions. You just have to go out and you’ll see hundreds of kids begging for food, while the government pretends to be helping them by using bread and circuses tactics, etc..

    Is that enough?

  • Adolfo

    @jeffrey

    First, Sandinistas are thieves. Just ask the guy who owned the house that Ortega lives in now. I don’t care if it happened 20 years ago. Ever heard of La Pinata? In the transition from Ortega to Chamorro, they confiscated a bunch of private property (houses, islands, farms etc) and gave them out to the Sandinista loyals.

    Ortega claims to be Christain. He says people who are anti-Chavist or anti-Sandinista are not Christians. I am pretty sure Jesus would not have approved of La Pinata. It was stealing.

    Ortega has accumalated more wealth in 12 years than Somoza did in 50. We just traded one corrupt, ruling class and replaced it with another that got rich quick.

    Second, Ortega ran for another term illegally. Period. Nica Constitution places a limit on the number of terms you can serve. He has now exceeding that. Period.

    Third, the economy is growing at 4-5%, yes this is true. But ALBA is so secret and protected that no one knows whats public funds and private funds anymore. What happens if Chavez dies of cancer? We should not put all our eggs in one basket. That is why Nica is scrambling to diversify. To get Chinese to invest in a canal, to get this oil rig buil. So in case something happens, the country won’t go to crap. I would have liked to see what would ahve happened to Nica growth if Chavez would have not been elected.

    Fourth, media propaganda. Go research who owns all the media outlets in the country. It’s all Ortega’s family.

    What I find most ironic is Ortega’s populist discourse. The basic definition is that its a government that appeals to the majority of the population against a group of people who they perceive to be elites that oppress a large portion of the population. Ortega says he is one of the poor, he is a proud indian mestizo. Ortega preaches against capitalism, wealth, and how the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. But the only people getting richer in Nicaragua are Sandinistas.

    Don’t forget that under Somoza Nica was most prosperous economic country. This was at the expense of civil liberties. But he kept a few rich. Ortega doesn’t employ such measures of torture, but he does censor media and he does keep a few rich. It’s the same shit, different smell.

    So Jeffrey, if you are not Nica, please do not comment. If you are Nica, please don’t be misled by economic growth statistics.

    • Erik Jota

      “if you are not Nica, please do not comment”. I kind of agree with a lot you’re writing here. But hey, that doesn’t count, because I am a foreigner who’s not entitled to an opinion.

  • Ken

    I dunno, in the current political environment I favor the protest vote. You can sing Ortega’s praises all you want (and I sometimes want to) but it’s still not good to have essentially a one-party election and a crooked electoral council. Reforming the system is more important than electing your guy, so even if you favor Ortega (as I might) it is better to lodge a protest vote this time around. I hope that some FSLN supporters will do this too. In short, go for it, kids!

  • Gabriel

    Simple analysis: Would Ortega have so much money and power if he was born in a rich country? Perhaps not…maybe without the poor he would have nothing. Makes you wonder who is really benefiting from poverty.