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Virtual Forum

Nicaragua’s political landscape and prospects for democracy in 2021


May 21, 2021


10:00am-11:00am CST






On November 7, 2021, Nicaragua will hold national elections for president, congress, and local authorities. The elections will take place in a context of weakened democratic and electoral institutions, with an electoral system and rules that tilt heavily in favor of the incumbent, Daniel Ortega, and the Sandinista party. Since widespread anti-government protests erupted in April 2018, more than 300 citizens have been killed by government forces and paramilitary groups aligned with them. In addition, the Ortega government has adopted several repressive laws that severely restrict civic space and political rights in the country.

Thus far, the opposition has failed to unite behind a single candidate to oppose President Ortega, who has ruled continuously since 2007. Given the severe limitations on civic space, press freedom, and the exercise of political rights, what are the prospects for democracy in Nicaragua? Is it possible to create better conditions for electoral competition? Will the opposition abstain in the face of current obstacles? Will the opposition unify? Is there a constructive role for the international community to play?

Duration: 60 minutes
9:00am PDT
10:00am Central America
12:00pm EDT

This event will be held in a mix of Spanish and English, with simultaneous interpretation available and broadcast via Zoom and SIF's social media platforms.
To access the simultaneous interpretation, please click the "Register" button on this page.


Cynthia Arnson

Director Latin American Program

Wilson Center


Carlos Fernando Chamorro

Journalist, Director

Confidencial, Nicaragua

Jennie Lincoln

Senior Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean

The Carter Center

Tiziano Breda

Analyst, Central America

International Crisis Group


Mirte Postema

Senior Program Officer

Anti-Impunity Fund, Seattle International Foundation (SIF)