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Nicaragua: eliminating term limits

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is proposing a series of reforms to the constitution, as part of a strategy reminiscent of one of his closest allies, former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

Ortega wants to reform 44 of the 202 articles in the national constitution, in an effort to run for election indefinitely.

The proposal would also speed up presidential elections, by declaring as the winner, whichever candidate gets the most votes.

Currently, there is a second round, in the event no candidate gets a minimum of 35% of votes cast.

Ortega could run for a fourth consecutive term, if the project were approved by the National Assembly, to which the plan will be presented this week, initially to a committee of seven members, including four who belong to the Ortega’s party, the Sandinista National Liberation Front.

In 2009, Chavez passed a constitutional reform, which lifted the ban on presidential reelection, enabling his to extend his mandate until his death last March.