After arresting most opposition leaders who could challenge him, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega announced Monday that he will run for a new term in office in the November 7 elections.
The former guerrilla leader is to be joined once again by his wife Rosario Murillo who will thus seek reelection as Vice President.
The 75-year-old Ortega has already ruled Nicaragua between 1979 to 1990 after overthrowing dictator Anastasio Somoza and then returned to power in 2007.
Since early June, seven opposition presidential candidates have been detained, including Cristiana Chamorro, daughter of former President Violeta Chamorro, who defeated Ortega in the 1990 elections.
Other political opponents who had no intention of running in the November 7 polls have also been placed in custody under treason charges.
The European Union (EU) Monday imposed restrictive measures against Murillo and seven other people, including Ortega's son Juan Carlos, for serious human rights violations in Nicaragua, and whose actions undermined democracy or the rule of law.
Ortega's decision was announced Monday in a virtual Sandinista Congress session attended by 2,932 delegates from all over the country.
We have our ticket, our candidates unanimously elected in this congress, Ortega and Murillo, announced the Sandinista militant Gustavo Porras, during the FSLN congress.
In addition to Cristiana Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Félix Madariaga, Juan Sebastián Chamorro, Miguel Mora, Medardo Mairena and Noel José Vidaurre Argüello were all arrested under different charges which boil up to treason against the Fatherland.
In this scenario, the opposition has agreed on a unified tocket headed by former Contra leader Oscar Sobalvarro, aged 68, and an ex beauty queen, Berenice Quezada, aged 27 under the Alianza Ciudadanos por la Libertad (CxL, right).
Sobalvarro, known as “Commander Rubén”, is a former head of the “Contras”, the defunct counterrevolution that the United States financed against the Sandinista Revolution in the 1980s.
The Sandinista congress also validated the nomination of the 92 full and alternate FSLN deputies for the National Assembly and 20 for the Central American Parliament. Nicaragua, of 6.5 million inhabitants, will hold presidential and legislative elections in November.