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Bishops call for clean elections in Nicaragua

.- The Bishops’ Conference of Nicaragua has called on the country’s Electoral Council to ensure transparency in the upcoming presidential elections set for November 5th, and it is asking Nicaraguans to get out and vote.  Not voting, the bishops said, means simply “conforming to those, others elect.”

In a pastoral letter, the bishops point out that the Electoral Council is the principal guarantor that the elections will be fair.  “We exhort them to carry out their service with honor, transparency, and uprightness, so that when the time comes to vote, there are no suspicions or doubts about the validity or legitimacy of the results,” the bishops stated.

They also reminded Nicaraguans that voting is a right and a duty.  They discouraged people from abstaining; noting that not participating in the elections is to “forsake possible solutions to the country’s problems.”

Voters should consider what policies will best respond to the needs of the country and how candidates will fulfill their campaign promises.  “We should verify that a candidate is a person of proven virtue,” the bishops said.

They also exhorted priests to refrain from partisan politics, because “we betray the trust of our parishioners if we publicly support or oppose a particular candidate or party.”

The letter also calls on the media to be accurate in their reporting and to refrain from dirty campaigning or fostering violence between different factions.

They concluded their letter announcing that on Sunday, October 29, Masses in the country will be offered for the success of the elections.

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