US lambastes Iranian ally Nicaragua over questionable elections

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“The United States must always aggressively protect and defend our security interests, and that goes double when the threat is close to our borders,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said in a Dec. 13 statement that singled out Nicaragua. “It is no secret that Iran is actively working with its anti-American cohorts in Latin America to threaten U.S. interests. Iran’s activities in our region pose a serious threat to our security and must be faced head-on.”

Here's the full statement:

The U.S. government is concerned that the municipal elections conducted Sunday, November 4, in Nicaragua failed to demonstrate a degree of transparency that would assure Nicaraguans and the international community that the process faithfully reflected the will of the Nicaraguan people.

There have been widespread complaints about the partisan manner in which Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council managed the process in the run-up to and on Election Day to the advantage of the ruling party. Irregularities observed on election day included citizens being denied the right to vote, a failure to respect the secrecy of citizens’ votes, and reported cases of voters being allowed to vote multiple times. These disturbing practices have marred multiple recent Nicaraguan elections.

We again urge the Government of Nicaragua to implement the recommendations the European Union and Organization of American States electoral observation missions made following the controversial 2011 national elections, and to uphold its commitment to representative democracy under the OAS Charter and the Inter-American Democratic Charter.