RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Ciudadanos por la Libertad (CxL), considered by some as the only non-collaborationist party in Nicaragua’s electoral race, defined this Tuesday the former head of the Nicaraguan Resistance Oscar Sobalvarro as its candidate for the Presidency, in a controversial decision.
“The candidacy of Oscar Sobalvarro is accepted (…), there is no rejection”, said the president of CxL, Carmela Rogers, known as Kitty Monterrey, in a press conference in which she confirmed that the selection of the ex-guerrilla was sudden and did not comply with the pre-established parameters.
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Sobalvarro will be the one to compete with President Daniel Ortega in the elections of next November 7, in the absence of his candidacy being ratified tomorrow in a CxL convention in Managua, which will be attended by some previously selected people, for security reasons, according to what Rogers said.
The party president acknowledged that CxL did not fulfill its promise to select its candidate through “a completely democratic mechanism”, and to break the public commitment to make official as its candidate the only pre-candidate who was not a victim of the wave of arrests against opposition leaders, in this case, computer scientist Américo Treminio.
“I am sorry for Mr. Treminio, but that is the way things are; we do not believe that he, being the last one, could be the ideal person at this juncture”, expressed the political activist, who blamed Ortega for not giving selection options to the opposition.
Before Rogers announced Sobalvarro, CxL received public criticism from its allied organization, the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy, which accused her of imposing decisions known in Nicaragua as “dedazo”.
“This party has never worked that way,” Rogers responded. “Sometimes the one who is not on the list stays, the one who is, is happy,” she added.
For his part, Sobalvarro, who declared himself “happy” with the decision, affirmed that his party would survive the criticism. “CxL is a strong organization, it is an alliance,” he said.
Regarding his chances against Ortega, accused by the opposition of preparing an alleged “fraud” to obtain his third consecutive reelection, Sobalvarro answered that “this is not about competition, it is about offering Nicaraguans a way out of the crisis we are living.”
Nicaragua is undergoing a socio-political crisis that has left hundreds dead and imprisoned and tens of thousands in exile for political reasons since the outbreak against Ortega in 2018.
The elections are seen by the opposition as a way out of the crisis if Ortega is defeated; however, a part of the dissident faction has already expressed its distrust in the electoral process.