Police raided the home of journalist’s possible presidential candidate Christiana Chamorro on money laundering charges.
Nicaragua Police raided the home of opposition leader and presidential candidate Cristiana Chamorro, escalating the political battle ahead of last year’s election.
Her brother, Carlos Fernando Chamorro, director of the independent media outlet Confidencial, confirmed on Twitter on Wednesday that he had issued an arrest warrant for his sister.
Social media և local television broadcast live images of police surrounding Chamorro’s house in Managua, the capital. Officers could use force to evict journalists who had arrived to cover the scene.
Earlier this week, Nicaraguan prosecutors prosecuted Chamorro for arresting other money laundering offenses, including a minor link to misrepresentation.
The 67-year-old journalist, who does not belong to a political party, is considered a serious challenge to President Daniel Ortega in the November presidential election, although he has not confirmed that he will seek a fourth term.
A statement from the judiciary said that a judge in the capital, Managua, had issued an arrest warrant following a request from the Attorney General.
The attorney general also formally demanded that Chamorro be disqualified from holding public office on Tuesday following a criminal investigation against him.
Chamorro denies the allegations, calling them a “farce” aimed at preventing him from seeking the presidency. Neither Chamorro nor his representatives were immediately asked to comment by Reuters.
“Majority opposition “He thinks this is a way to try to eliminate the most prominent opposition leaders in the run-up to this year’s presidential election,” said Lucia Newman of Al Aze Azira from Santiago, Chile.
“He would be the third possible candidate for the presidency,” Newman said, adding that “two of the opposition parties have now been outlawed.”
Attempts to oust Chamorro have drawn criticism from the United States, the Organization of American States (OAS) and others.
The OAS said in a statement on Wednesday that “the process of systematic և repeated violations of the rule of law, fundamental freedoms” is “an attack on democracy.”
– OAS (@OAS_official) June 2, 2021
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Twitter that preventing Chamorro from competing “reflects Ortega’s fear of free and fair elections”.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has accused the Prosecutor General’s Office of fabricating false allegations against Ortega’s critics.
Chamorro recently emerged as a possible candidate for unity, possibly managing to rally the broken opposition to defeat Ortega in the Nov. 7 vote. He announced on Tuesday that he would run for opposition.
She is the daughter of Violeta Chamorro, who became president of Nicaragua in the 1990 election, ousting Ortega after coming to power.