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Joe Biden criticizes recent Nicaragua elections
US President Joe Biden weighed in on the recent presidential elections in Nicaragua, which saw Daniel Ortega and his wife win another term as president and vice president, respectively. Biden criticized the nation’s elections, noting the means that secured the incumbents’ victories.
In a statement released by the White House, Biden criticized the Nicaragua elections, accusing Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo of enforcing autocracy due to the means by which they retained their positions. The elections over the weekend secured Ortega and Murillo’s victories as his administration rigged the outcome of the elections and had 39 individuals of the opposition imprisoned.
Among those that were imprisoned were potential presidential candidates, as well as political groups that drew the ire of Ortega. Biden also blasted Ortega for suppressing and “bullying” independent media, the business sector, and civil society.
“What Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo orchestrated today was a pantomime election that was neither free or fair, and most certainly not democratic,” said Biden in the statement, calling the elections a “sham.”
“Long unpopular and now without a democratic candidate, the Ortega and Murillo family now rule Nicaragua as autocrats,” said Biden. The US leader also called on Ortega to take immediate action in restoring democracy in the country and release those who have been wrongly imprisoned. Biden also warned that the US would use every diplomatic and economic means to support the citizens of Nicaragua and hold the Ortega-Murillo government accountable for its actions.
The European Union has also imposed sanctions against the Ortega-Murillo family and its allies in the midst of the arrests that led up to the elections over the weekend.
In other related news, another slot in the Federal Reserve Board is opening as Randal Quarles announced Monday that he is stepping down from his position in the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. This would signal another opening on the board for Biden to fill. This follows speculation as well as to whether Biden would renominate Jerome Powell to lead the Federal Reserve for another term. Powell’s term ends in February.
Biden is likely to renominate Powell. However, it is also possible that he may decide to nominate Lael Brainard, the only Democrat on the board, to the position.