UK statement on detention and disqualification of Christiana Chamorro by Nicaraguan authorities

The UK is concerned at the unacceptable steps being taken by the authorities in Nicaragua to prevent opposition leader and likely presidential candidate Cristiana Chamorro from taking part in November’s presidential election. This development is the latest in a series of actions taken by the Nicaraguan authorities with the intention of depriving the people of Nicaragua of the right to choose their own political leaders and parliamentary representatives freely.

It is regrettable that the Nicaraguan government has not implemented recommendations made by the Organization of American States (OAS) for improvements to the electoral process in order to promote democratic conditions in the country. Instead, since 2018, the Nicaraguan government has introduced legislation that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has stated undermines the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

The United Kingdom, together with partners in the international community, calls on the Nicaraguan government to implement the reforms they agreed with the OAS in 2017-2018 and, as a high priority, to put in place a transparent and robust electoral framework together with safeguards consistent with international standards ahead of elections later this year.

We look to the government in Nicaragua to take and support all steps necessary to uphold the rights of all Nicaraguan voters to exercise their right to vote freely, safely and without interference in those elections. We look to the government also to do all that is necessary to ensure that all political parties, their chosen candidates and their supporters are able to campaign freely and safely in advance of the elections, and to ensure that journalists and the media are allowed to operate without restriction and impartially.

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