The National Coalition for Democracy has named Luis Callejas, currently serving as deputy for the Independent Liberal Party (PLI), as their presidential candidate for the November 2016 general elections.
Callejas was selected by “consensus” among the political groups that make up the coalition; as such, he affirmed, the primary elections originally announced by the opposition leaders won’t be necessary.
“The rules indicate that if there’s no consensus, primary elections should be held; nonetheless, there was no need to take that step,” expressed Ana Margarita Vijil, national president of the Sandinista Renewal Movement (MRS).
Callejas declared that he was ready for these elections and assured that he had won the trust of everyone in the National Coalition. The Vice Presidential candidate has yet to be chosen.
With respect to the coalition’s recommendations that were disregarded by the Supreme Electoral Council, Vijil admitted that it was only to be expected that the electoral authorities would pass over the concerns of the opposition.
“Common sense told us that they weren’t going to give them serious consideration. They did have to include a comment on the specific topic of elections observation and regulation, stating clearly that there were dates that weren’t included in the electoral calendar because they were part of the Electoral Law, so it wasn’t necessary,” explained Vijil.
“Daniel Ortega is on the defensive at the moment with this process; convoking the elections with so little time left before voting day, putting so many obstacles in the path of the parties. These are examples of this defensive behavior. This calls for us to redouble our efforts to pressure and obtain that observation,” she added.
On this same topic, Callejas affirmed that the government, through the Foreign Ministry, should invite international organizations such as the OAS, the European Union and the Carter Center, with sufficient time to carry out the work of elections observation.
Even though the presidential elections are still months away, Luis Callejas manifested that they are already prepared to denounce any irregularities and to guarantee a democratic electoral process. “We’ve been preparing ourselves for a long time, we have an extended electoral group of 75 thousand people who are going to do the work on the ground to gather that information that we so require. We are going forward with these elections,” Callejas concluded.
This article has been translated from Spanish by Havana Times.