Nicaragua Leader Moves Closer To Indefinite Power

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) - Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has moved closer to indefinite re-election after his allies in the National Assembly approved constitutional changes that have increased opposition worries about the president's growing dominance.

The changes eliminate presidential term limits and lower the bar for re-election by naming the candidate with the most votes as the winner, eliminating the current requirement for the winner to garner at least 35 percent.

Ortega is serving his third term under a supreme court decision that overrode a constitutional ban.

Sixty-three of the 92 deputies in the National Assembly belong to Ortega's Sandinista party and the vote was 64-26 in favor of the constitutional changes.

Opposition members of congress walked out before the vote. The changes must be voted on a second time to become law.

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