Nicaragua lacks rule of law, distrust growing among populace, says bishop

.- The announcement that President Daniel Ortega will seek reelection is a sign that there is no rule of law in the nation and that the people are losing confidence, said a bishop in Nicaragua.

“These institutions have even made decisions that go against the Constitution itself, and thus the rule of law does not exist. This has cultivated distrust among the people,” said Bishop Socrates Rene Sandigo Giron in an interview with CNA.

Bishop Sandigo Giron  is the secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Nicaragua.

The bishop said he was concerned about the political tension that has gripped the country in recent months. He also rejected the pressure the current government is putting on the country, after a questionable ruling by the Constitutional Court is allowing Ortega to seek reelection.

“We think partisan interests have dominated. There has been a lot of manipulation that has destroyed the government system and institutions. There is no transparency or honesty in the different governmental institutions,” he said.

“There is a lot of talk about the common good, but the reality is quite different, because if we were truly seeking the common good, we would not be denying people jobs because they do not support the government’s vision or belong to the ruling party. In Nicaragua, this is happening. Government workers are obliged to be card-carrying members of the ruling party, and if they refuse, they are denied employment,” Bishop Sandigo Giron said.

The bishop went on to note the level of unhappiness in the country with the current political situation. “People are disappointed with their politicians on both sides, because those in public office have failed them greatly. There is no confidence in promises that are not carried out.”

With elections just a few months away, he added, there is little interest in what the candidates are saying and in the upcoming presidential vote.

“We have asked the people not to be discouraged and we have made them see the importance of going to the polls. It is important to become involved in political life so that the historical direction of the country is not mapped out by only a few, but rather that all the people participate,” the bishop said.

Manipulation of the faith

As the country moves towards the Nov. 5 elections, Bishop Sandigo Giron called attention to the Ortega campaign, which has used terms like “revolutionary Mass,” “Sandinista faith” and “revolutionary faith” in its rhetoric.

“I think they all know that the Nicaraguan people are a people of great faith and therefore it is not right to use these words. There is a lot of manipulation behind the use of these terms to push their own agenda and interests,” he added.

Bishop Sandigo Giron recalled that the bishops of Nicaragua have already released a statement about this issue.

“We have asked the government to be respectful of the expressions of faith of the people because they are using religious signs in their campaigns, and ultimately they are using terms from the Church’s theology and social doctrine.”

“Nicaragua has gone through difficult times in the past, times of war, conflicts and governments out of tune with the reality of the country, which have caused so much pain and division, and therefore cannot allow a few individuals to take the reins of the country’s history.”

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April 24, 2014

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