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Concern About Political Crisis Brewing, Nicaragua

Concern Expressed About Political Crisis Brewing in Nicaragua

Organization of American States approves resolution calling for dialogue

By Eric Green
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- The Organization of American States (OAS) is expressing concern about what it calls an "escalation of the institutional and political crisis" in Nicaragua.

In a September 9 statement, the OAS said the crisis threatens "democratic governance" in the Central American nation, along with the "legitimate exercise of power, and the rule of law, with serious social and economic consequences, both now and in the future, for the people of Nicaragua."

The OAS said its Permanent Council approved a resolution on September 9, urging "in the strongest possible terms" that the parties involved in the Nicaraguan crisis enter into a broad and constructive dialogue, respect the authority of Nicaraguan President Enrique Bolaños and cease "any action that could aggravate the political crisis in Nicaragua."

The Permanent Council instructed OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza to convey its concern about the situation to the parties involved in Nicaragua's crisis. The resolution stressed "the importance of action" to "maintain the system of democratic institutions and [to] reach agreements" in Nicaragua "that will preserve governance, the rule of law and the country's stability, in keeping with the OAS Charter and the Inter-American Democratic Charter."

The Inter-American Democratic Charter, adopted in September 2001, is designed to reinforce active defense of representative democracy in the Americas through the OAS. The text of the charter is available on the OAS Web site.

The September 9 resolution, which the OAS said was adopted by acclamation, also states that the inter-American body is resolved to follow the events unfolding in Nicaragua -- and, "should the urgency of the situation so warrant, to convene without delay" a special session of the OAS General Assembly.

In June, Insulza made a four-day visit to Nicaragua with the goal of helping to find a solution to the country's crisis.

That visit followed a declaration of support for Nicaragua adopted at a meeting of the OAS General Assembly in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, June 5-7.

The declaration in Fort Lauderdale said that "critical developments" in the situation in Nicaragua "pose a grave threat to the separation and independence" of Nicaragua's branches of government.

News reports say that political opponents of Bolaños are threatening to strip him of crucial presidential powers and to have him and some of his government ministers prosecuted for alleged wrongdoing during his campaign for president in 2001.

The United States continually has expressed support for Bolaños while condemning what it says are politically motivated attempts to undermine his presidency and the constitutional order in Nicaragua.

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