With 64 votes in favor and 26 against, the National Assembly of Nicaragua has approved a partial reform of the Constitution. This bill, introduced by the Sandinista majority in Congress, will allow Ortega to run for reelection in 2016.
This reform eliminates the article that prohibited consecutive presidential reelection and limited the terms to two. Ortega’s third term already constituted a violation of this article. However, the current president ran for reelection under a provision dictated in 2011. With no opposition judges in place his reelection to a third term was not challenged.
Outside Congress, opposition parties called for massive protests against this reform. One such group was Unidad por la República (Unity for the Republic), which is an alliance amongst several parties including Partido Liberal Independiente (Independent Liberal Party) and Partido de Renovación Sandinista (Sandinista Renovation Party). The opposition claims this reform will only strengthen the president’s power into perpetuity.