Five men and one woman were presented this Sunday as the candidates for the Presidency of Nicaragua by the National Coalition, one of the opposition factions, with a view to the elections on November 7.

The presidential candidates are Dr. María Eugenia Alonzo, the ex-guerrilla against Luis Fley, the Afro-descendant activist George Henríquez Cayasso, the peasant leader Medardo Mairena, the academic and former secretary of the Ministry of Defense (2004-2007) Félix Maradiaga, and the businessman and journalist Miguel Mora.

The National Coalition, one of the two main opposition factions, is made up of the Democratic Restoration Party (PRD), the indigenous Yatama (“Children of Mother Earth” in the Miskito language), and the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN), Unidad National Blue and White, and Peasant Movement.

During a ceremony held in a hotel in Managua, guarded by police, the presidential candidates for that coalition focused their speeches on advocating for unity, for the release of the so-called “political prisoners”, and on demanding justice for the victims of the demonstrations. anti-government programs that erupted in April 2018 and left hundreds dead.

Unity messages

Alonzo, the only woman to be a candidate for the Presidency by that opposition bloc, declared herself “proudly self-convoked” and that she comes “from a simple and honest family, but millionaires in virtues, principles and values.”

In addition to calling for justice for the victims and freedom for the “political prisoners,” he advocated for the unity of the opposition forces, spoke in favor of eliminating the presidential re-election, and invited the journalist Cristiana Chamorro, daughter of former President Violeta Barrios ( 1990-1997) and the national hero Pedro Joaquín Chamorro, who also aspires to the Presidency, to join.

The ex-guerrilla against Fley also advocated for unity to get out of the “dictatorship” and Nicaraguans “do not continue skating like with an exercise band.” He promised, in case of reaching the Presidency, to reduce the State, to remove Nicaragua from the Central American Court of Justice “which is useless”, to send to “retirement the entire leadership of the National Police”, and to appoint a special prosecutor’s office to investigate the deaths that occurred in the framework of the protests against Ortega.

Do you bet to be the second force?

For his part, the Afro-descendant activist Henríquez criticized the opponents who refuse to form a single opposition bloc. ”There are leaders who bet on being the second political force in the country and are not betting on a change of government and here the people are not Brute, she is not stupid and we already know who they are, ”the politician launched, without mentioning anyone. “From the National Coalition we are still betting on the creation of a consolidated opposition bloc against this regime,” he said.

Maradiaga, who was exiled, asked, for his part, a minute of silence for the victims and said that “it is difficult to affirm that we are a truly independent nation.” He observed that in Nicaragua there is no individual freedom, freedom of the press, that officials “They obey a family in power”, and the “regime represses” those who think differently.

They predict a long and difficult road

Mairena, who was kept in prison in the context of the crisis, expressed solidarity with the families of the victims, the “political prisoners” and the exiles.

He also called for the unity of the opposition and said that “we are on time” so that “the people have the opportunity to choose with whom they feel best represented.” “With Sandinismo in power, there will be no hope or future for our young people, pensions will not be able to recover their real value, energy and fuel will continue to rise, just like the basic food basket,” said journalist Mora. , that I also keep prison.

The politician and communicator said that “the road will be long and difficult, because we choose the hardest path: the path of civic and peaceful resistance”, but that even so, they will win.

At the end of the event, the candidates for the Presidency signed an agreement in which they agree to submit to an “inclusive method that guarantees free competition under equal conditions for all candidates” to choose the candidate.

Opponents are looking to defeat the Sandinistas, led by Daniel Ortega, 75, who on January 10 celebrated 14 consecutive years in his second stage as president of Nicaragua, after coordinating a Governing Board from 1979 to 1985, and presiding for the country for the first time from 1985 to 1990.

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