Politics of Nicaragua

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Nicaragua is a presidential republic, in which the President of Nicaragua is both head of state and head of government, and there is a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government.

Contents

Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Constitution

In 1995, the executive and legislative branches negotiated a reform of the 1987 Sandinista constitution which gave extensive new powers and independence to the National Assembly, including permitting the Assembly to override a presidential veto with a simple majority vote and eliminating the president's ability to pocket veto a bill. Members of the unicameral National Assembly are elected to concurrent five-year terms.

In January 2014, the National Assembly approved changes to the constitution, removing presidential term limits. This allowed current President Daniel Ortega to run for a third successive term. [1]

Executive branch

Main office-holders
OfficeNamePartySince
President Daniel Ortega FSLN 11 January 2016
Vice President Rosario Murillo FSLN 11 January 2016

The president and the vice president are elected for a single five-year term. With the reform of the constitution in 2014 the ban on re-election of the president has been removed. [2] The president appoints the Council of Ministers.

Legislative branch

The National Assembly (Asamblea Nacional) consists of 90 deputies elected from party lists drawn at the department and national level, plus the outgoing president and the runner-up in the presidential race, for a total of 92. In the 2011 elections, the Sandinista National Liberation Front won 63 seats (securing a majority), the Independent Liberal Party won 27 seats, and the Constitutionalist Liberal Party won 2 seats. This includes seats given to outgoing Vice President Jaime Morales Carazo and presidential runner-up Fabio Gadea Mantilla.

Outgoing Vice President Jaime Morales Carazot's seat would usually be given to the outgoing president. However, Danial Ortega was re-elected after the Constitution was modified to remove term limits.

Political parties and elections

Judicial branch

The Supreme Court of Justice supervises the functioning of the still largely ineffective and overburdened judicial system. As part of the 1995 constitutional reforms, the independence of the Supreme Court was strengthened by increasing the number of magistrates from 9 to 12. In 2000, the number of Supreme Court Justices was increased to 16. Supreme Court justices are nominated by the political parties and elected to 5-year terms by the National Assembly.

Electoral branch

Led by a council of seven magistrates, the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) is the co-equal branch of government responsible for organizing and conducting elections, plebiscites, and referendums. The magistrates and their alternates are elected to 5-year terms by the National Assembly. Constitutional changes in 2000 expanded the number of CSE magistrates from five to seven and gave the PLC and the FSLN a freer hand to name party activists to the council, prompting allegations that both parties were politicizing electoral institutions and processes and excluding smaller political parties.

Human rights

Freedom of speech is a right guaranteed by the Nicaraguan constitution, but media has come under censorship from time to time. [3] [4] [5] Other constitutional freedoms include peaceful assembly and association, freedom of religion, and freedom of movement within the country, as well as foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation. The government also permits domestic and international human rights monitors to operate freely in Nicaragua.

The constitution prohibits discrimination based on birth, nationality, political belief, race, gender, language, religion, opinion, national origin, economic or social condition. Homosexuality has been legal since 2008.

All public and private sector workers, except the military and the police, are entitled to form and join unions of their own choosing, and they exercise this right extensively. [6] Nearly half of Nicaragua's work force, including agricultural workers, is unionized. [7] Workers have the right to strike. Collective bargaining is becoming more common in the private sector. [8]

Administrative divisions

Nicaragua is divided in 15 departments: Boaco, Carazo, Chinandega, Chontales, Estelí, Granada, Jinotega, León, Madriz, Managua, Masaya, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia, Rivas, Río San Juan, as well as in two autonomous regions: North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region and South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region.

Foreign relations

Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega said March 6, 2008 that the nation is breaking relations with Colombia "in solidarity with the Ecuadoran people", following the 2008 Andean diplomatic crisis. [9] The relations were restored soon after.

Political pressure groups

Some political pressure groups are:

See also

Related Research Articles

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sandinista National Liberation Front</span> Nicaraguan socialist political party founded in 1961

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marxist–Leninist Popular Action Movement</span> Political party in Nicaragua

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Constitution of Nicaragua</span>

The Constitution of Nicaragua was reformed due to a negotiation of the executive and legislative branches in 1995. The reform of the 1987 Sandinista Constitution gave extensive new powers and independence to the National Assembly, including permitting the Assembly to override a presidential veto with a simple majority vote and eliminating the president's ability to pocket veto a bill. Both the president and the members of the unicameral National Assembly are elected to concurrent five-year terms.

General elections were held in Nicaragua on 25 February 1990 to elect the President and the members of the National Assembly. The result was a victory for the National Opposition Union (UNO), whose presidential candidate Violeta Chamorro surprisingly defeated incumbent president Daniel Ortega of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). This led to a historic peaceful and democratic transfer of power in Nicaragua.

In 1979, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) overthrew Anastasio Somoza Debayle, ending the Somoza dynasty, and established a revolutionary government in Nicaragua. Following their seizure of power, the Sandinistas ruled the country first as part of a Junta of National Reconstruction. Following the resignation of centrist members from this Junta, the FSLN took exclusive power in March 1981.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2011 Nicaraguan general election</span>

General elections were held in Nicaragua on 6 November 2011. The incumbent president Daniel Ortega, won a third term in this election, with a landslide victory.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2016 Nicaraguan general election</span>

General elections were held in Nicaragua on 6 November 2016 to elect the President, the National Assembly and members of the Central American Parliament. Incumbent President Daniel Ortega of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) was re-elected for a third consecutive term amid charges he and the FSLN used their control of state resources to bypass constitutional term limits and hamstring political rivals. The FSLN benefited from strong economic growth and relatively low levels of crime compared to neighbouring countries.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rafael Solís (jurist)</span> Nicaraguan lawyer and politician

Rafael Solís Cerda is a Nicaraguan attorney, politician and former Justice of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) of Nicaragua. He served on the Supreme Court for 19 years before resigning in January 2019. Before joining the Supreme Court, Solís had served in the Nicaraguan legislature and as a military leader.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2021 Nicaraguan general election</span> National elections in Nicaragua

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alba Luz Ramos</span> President of the Nicaraguan Supreme Court

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References

  1. "Nicaragua: Ortega allowed to run for third successive term". BBC. British Broadcasting Corporation. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  2. "BTI 2022 Nicaragua Country Report". BTI 2022. Retrieved 2022-11-30.
  3. Avenue, Committee to Protect Journalists 330 7th; York, 11th Floor New; Ny 10001. "Nicaragua Special Report: Daniel Ortega's Media War". cpj.org. Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  4. "Last founder of Sandinistas dies". BBC News. 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  5. McDonald, Michael (27 December 2018). "Nicaragua Suffers Worst Slump in 30 Years Amid Ortega Crackdown". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  6. USA, IBP (August 2013). Nicaragua Investment and Business Guide Volume 1 Strategic and Practical Information. Lulu.com. p. 24. ISBN   978-1-4387-6836-6.
  7. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Report Submitted to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives and Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate by the Department of State in Accordance with Sections 116(d) and 502B(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as Amended. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1994. p. 511. ISBN   9780160436277.
  8. Country Reports on Economic Policy and Trade Practices: Report Submitted to the Committee on Foreign Relations, Committee on Finance of the U.S. Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives by the Department of State in Accordance with Section 2202 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1994. p. 402. ISBN   978-0-16-043951-3.
  9. "CNN".