AMERICA/NICARAGUA - "Nicaragua does not need any Constitution reform", the Bishops say

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Managua (Agenzia Fides) - "Nicaragua does not need any Constitution reform... They are not necessary reforms", say the Bishops of Nicaragua in a statement sent to Fides news agency.
The statement published yesterday November 22 by Mgr. Socrates Rene Sándigo Jirón, Bishop of Juigalpa and President of CEN and by Mgr. Silvio José Báez, Auxiliary Bishop of Managua and Secretary General of CEN states: "The current proposals are aimed at encouraging the establishment and the continuation of an absolute long-term power exercised by a person or by a party, in a dynastic manner or through political and economic oligarchy".
The document, which was handed over to MPs, reiterates that the proposed reforms do not give any "benefit" to the country so it would be much more useful and urgent to "purify and rectify the mentality and practice with which power is exercised".
The Bishops, quoting the Centesimus Annus, (num. 46), recall that "a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism, as history shows".
In the basis of the proposed constitutional reform, President Ortega could seek re-election indefinitely and win the election in the first round with a simple majority vote, as well as the power to issue executive decrees with force and validity of the law.
The amendment also grants more powers to the army, which would have total control of radio and telecommunications, and even provides that the general officers will be able to hold public office without giving up their military career.
The partial constitutional reforms in Nicaragua require the approval of at least 60% of the 92 deputies of the National Assembly, that is 56 votes.
In the Legislative Assembly the Sandinistas have 63 deputies, ie, the absolute majority. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 23/11/2013)