President Daniel Ortega’s push to stay in power using a contested interpretation of the Constitution has many citizens crying foul. Mr. Ortega’s critics charge that he is disrespecting the constitution by having his supporter’s rule to make an exception to the presidential term requirements. The Catholic Bishops of Nicaragua have officially opposed President Ortega’s bid for a third term.
The nations constitution clearly limits presidents to two terms. Late last year however, the Nicaraguan Supreme Court ruled that the Sandinista leader could legally seek a third term.
“We have said that all Nicaraguans have a constitution,” said Archbishop Leopoldo José Brenes Solórzano of Managua. “All Nicaraguans, regardless of their tendency, must take it as a reference point. It is like a traffic light: when you get a red light you have to stop.”
Ortega and his administration have been at odds with the church for decades. Ortega who supports abortion and has been known to harass Church leaders was voted out of power in the 1990 election but re-elected in 2007. Elections are scheduled for November in Nicaragua.