Feminists call for women to abstain from voting in Nicaragua

MAM: “the electoral process is inherently flawed; it doesn’t give us guarantees of any kind”.

Wilfredo Miranda Aburto  (Confidencial)

Mujeres participan en una protesta en Managua por elecciones libres. Foto: Jorge Torres/EFE
Mujeres participan en una protesta en Managua por elecciones libres. Foto: Jorge Torres/EFE

HAVANA TIMES — The Autonomous Women’s Movement (MAM) issued a statement in which they condemned Rosario Murillo’s candidacy for vice-president for the governing Sandinista National Liberation Front, while they “strongly reject the ambition” of Comandante Daniel Ortega’s regime to “carry on in power and to establish a dictatorship, dynastic in nature.”

The feminist organization maintains that by taking away the opposition’s legal status and dismissing its legislators, “with a government sponsored coup against the National Assembly”, Ortega has “deviously robbed us twice of the votes cast by Nicaraguan citizens back in 2011.”

“Preceded by fraudulent elections in the past, the 2016 elections are inherently flawed, they give us no guarantees of any kind nor do they give us a choice to elect from, calling for everybody to vote for the Ortega family,” MAM tells us. “They call the enthronement of a ruling couple “voting” here in Nicaragua, turning us citizens into subjects of an absolutist and outlandish kingdom.”

Murillo’s candidacy was justified by Comandante Ortega with the argument that his government promotes gender equality. However, these feminists claim that the First Lady’s presentation is “false, offensive and manipulative.”

“Murillo can’t be a representative of our wishes for justice and democracy, she who has taken 50% of our power, over the abused body of a young girl, a crime she covered up,” contests MAM, referring to the rape complaint filed by her daughter Zoilamerica Ortega Murillo. Likewise they accuse Murillo of “sending hundreds of women to their deaths because they were refused an abortion to save their lives, and of harassing women’s organizations for demanding their rights and for defending the rights of others,” the statement adds.

The MAM doesn’t “recognize” the political parties who are taking part in these elections either, which they label as a “farce” as the only opposition was disqualified by the Judicial Authority. The women call the other participating parties “accomplice and collaborationist parties who have given in to this electoral farce.”

In their statement, the MAM urges women to abstain from voting on November 6th.  According to them, in order to defend democracy, freedom and peace, they must first demand free, competitive and transparent elections.

“We women defend a civil and peaceful way out of Ortega’s authoritarian regime and we demand that the whole of our society and the international community mobilizes so that the situation created out of the imposition of a new dynastic dictatorship doesn’t lead to a new cycle of violence in Nicaragua,” concludes the statement.