Growing tensions between President Ortega and Nicaraguan opposition parties have effectively shut down the legislature. Today, for a second day in a row, the minimum number of lawmakers required to conduct business failed to show up at the national assembly.
The dispute arose following an executive decree, issued on January 9, which allows certain government officials to remain in office beyond their legally mandated terms.
The opposition contends that the Ortega’s decree is unconstitutional and will allow ten magistrates of the electoral council, four Supreme Court justices and five auditing officials, among others, to stay in office beyond the current fiscal year.
The president’s ruling Sandanista party and numerous opposition groups are blaming each other for this week’s setbacks and neither party is willing to assume responsibility for the shutdown. A recent spate of political disputes has continually jeopardized the work of Nicaragua’s legislature. So far this year, only four ordinary sessions have been held and only one law, four decrees and a single resolution have passed.