The Carter Center today released a statement lamenting the Sandinista government’s recent renewal of its scandal-plagued electoral authorities, calling the move a “significant lost opportunity for this country to strengthen its battered electoral institutions.”
The international electoral and human rights watchdog group started by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said the “image and credibility of the CSE, together with the standards governing democracy and elections in Nicaragua, have degenerated significantly in the wake of the confirmed fraud perpetrated in the 2008 municipal elections.”
The Carter Center added, “On Nov. 6, 2011, this same CSE organized and held the least transparent national election in Nicaragua in the last 20 years, the results of which have proven to be impossible to verify, setting a damaging precedent for the future of democracy in Nicaragua.”
The electoral watchdog group, which has observed national elections in Nicaragua since 1989, called on the Sandinista-dominated National Assembly to “undertake their patriotic duty to the Nicaraguan people to conduct a serious, thorough review of the Nicaraguan electoral system with the participation of all of the political parties so that, for the good of Nicaraguan society and its democracy, decisions and events such as these never occur again.”
“We also ask the international community to make sure it keeps its eyes on the status of democracy in Nicaragua in order to encourage and facilitate the return of free, fair, and transparent elections with widely-accepted results to Nicaragua as a first step toward building and strengthening the rule of law and the democratic institutions that this country so deserves and needs,” the group concluded.