If Reagan were alive .................. is Obama going to sanction another dictator's coup against free people?
In a Sandinista power play that's being likened to a coup against Nicaragua's institutional democracy, high court magistrates loyal to President Daniel Ortega ruled Monday evening against a constitutional ban that prohibits consecutive reelection. The decision by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, according to Sandinista magistrates, clears the way for Ortega to seek reelection in 2011.
The high court's ruling, made in the absence of opposition judges who reportedly were not convoked for the court session, is being called a brazen assault on Nicaragua's rule of law, and a dangerous step closer to an Ortega dictatorship.
“They are manipulating the constitution and the state of law in an unthinkable way,” former Supreme Court President Alejandro Serrano told The Nica Times, adding that the Supreme Court does not have the authority to declare the constitution unconstitutional.
The situation in Nicaragua continues to deteriorate. Following up on Ortega's coup on Nicaragua: Obama's Poisonous Fruit: Nicaragua's Ortega Nullifies Constitution... Bruce, Atlas operative in Nicaragua, writes me:
Here's the link to Tim Rogers, a local reporter who sometime writes for Time.* All the local embassies have for the moment declined to comment in order to study the decision of the Nicaraguan Supreme Court. In fairness, that might be wise for a moment...but this silence can't last long without it becoming complicity in dictatorship. What is needed is for the State Department and the EU to join with Nicaragua's opposition parties and declare that it will not recognize the right of Ortega to run for re-election.
- The decision was made by a rump session of Sandinista justices who excluded the non-Sandinista justices from taking part in the decision (!!). (Imagine the GOP justices on the US Supreme Court holding a private session in which they overturn Roe v Wade, and you get the picture).
- The legality of the decision was rejected by the Chief Justice of the Nicaraguan Supreme Court(!).
- The legality of the decision was also rejected by a united statement of every Nicaraguan political party, who do not recognize the legal right of Ortega to run for re-election. The opposition parties are now engaged in a joint effort to shut down the government.
Nicaragua's long-divided opposition movements are starting to show signs of union in defense of the country's institutional democracy, following a highly suspect ruling by Sandinista Supreme Court magistrates Monday to allow their leader, President Daniel Ortega, to seek re-election in 2011.
The ruling by the six Sandinista magistrates of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court was conducted behind the backs of the opposition Liberal party magistrates. Supreme Court President Manuel Martínez, of the Liberal party, described the move an “ambush” by the Sandinista magistrates and a growing number of Ortega's detractors are blasting it as an illegal assault on Nicaragua's constitutional democracy.
After a full day of meetings yesterday, representatives of all the opposition political parties in the National Assembly – who together make up a majority – issued a joint statement stressing they do not recognize the judges' ruling, nor Ortega's right to seek consecutive re-election, which is banned by the constitution.
“We do not recognize the decision adopted in an illegal and illegitimate manner,” the business chamber said in its statement.
Constitutional experts are also expressing shock about Monday's ruling.
Legal analyst and former judge Sergio Garcia Quintero told The Nica Times that one would be “hard pressed to find a more corrupt judicial system in the world,” and compared the Supreme Court justices to the “seven plagues of Egypt.”
Ortega, meanwhile, went on live television for a nationally televised address Monday night and said that the Sandinista ruling is “non-appealable” and “written in stone.” He called his political opponents “residual garbage” who should be thrown in jail.
The Sandinista base, too, has reacted to the news with the same defensive triumphalism they displayed after last November's highly contentious municipal elections, in which the Sandinista Front was accused of stealing more than 30 mayor's seats.
The Sandinistas have taken to the streets of Managua to “permanently defend” Ortega's re-election efforts and prevent the “right wing” from protesting.
"Right wing" is now synonymous with "freedom lover". It's a dirty word in the lefty lexicon and they are using the media minions to sully it. But the more they use it, the more gorgeous it becomes.
Articles like these last two place his life in
danger here in Nicaragua. Note that his by-line is Nica Times (down
here Nica is short for Nicaragua--it's an affectionate word, and the
Nicaraguans regularly call themselves Nicas).