Nicaraguan exiles urge election boycott as Ortega seeks fourth term

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Nicaraguan exile Alexa Zamora of the Blue and White National Unity (UNAB) speaks during a quality league to denounce the electoral process successful Nicaragua up of the country's November 7 statesmanlike and National Assembly elections, successful San Jose, Costa Rica November 4, 2021. REUTERS/Mayela Lopez

SAN JOSE, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Groups representing Nicaraguans successful exile connected Thursday urged their compatriots to abstain from voting successful Sunday's elections to debar legitimizing what they see a ploy by President Daniel Ortega to stay successful power.

Ortega is up for re-election connected Nov. 7 for a 4th consecutive word with critics saying the erstwhile Marxist revolutionary has go the benignant of authoritarian person helium erstwhile opposed with his suppression of dissent.

Seven rival statesmanlike candidates person been imprisoned, accused of crimes from wealth laundering to treason.

Dissident groups signed a associated declaration, which was announced successful neighboring Costa Rica, location to the astir Nicaraguans successful exile, calling for a boycott of the election.

"We telephone for bare streets this November 7 with the aforesaid courageousness and determination with which we filled them successful 2018, enactment astatine location this clip and don't ballot arsenic a motion of our full rejection of the dictatorship," it said.

The connection was work retired astatine a quality league successful San Jose by Rommel Melendez of the Association of Physicians successful Exile.

In 2018, demonstrations implicit a societal information overhaul morphed into a broader protestation urging Ortega to quit. Over 300 radical died and hundreds were arrested successful the ensuing crackdown.

More than 130,000 Nicaraguans person fled the state since, said Alexa Zamora, a subordinate of Blue and White National Unity, a Nicaraguan absorption movement.

The progressively authoritarian stance of Ortega, a erstwhile Marxist guerrilla who helped topple the U.S.-backed Somoza dictatorship successful 1979, has sparked an planetary backlash, including from Washington and its allies, which spot him successful the aforesaid campy arsenic the leaders of Venezuela, Cuba and Russia.

The U.S. medication of President Joe Biden is preparing to ramp up sanctions to protestation the one-sided vote.

The Inter-American Commission connected Human Rights (IACHR) and the determination bureau of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights connected Thursday condemned a deficiency of guarantees to support rights and freedoms during the electoral process.

Reporting by Alvaro Murillo, penning by Cassandra Garrison, editing by Richard Pullin

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