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Central American University - UCA  
  Number 175 | Febrero 1996
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Nicaragua

NICARAGUA BRIEFS

A FEW TOO MANY?

Nicaragua now has 34 legally registered parties, and the leaders of 15 of them have made public their aspiration to run for the presidency. The latest to be granted legal standing are:
MRS (Sergio Ramírez)
MAR (Moisés Hassan)
PUL (Haroldo Montealegre)
MAC (Hernaldo Zúñiga)
PND (Alfredo César)
PRONAL (Antonio Lacayo)
Arriba Nicaragua (Alvaro Robelo)
Fuerza 96 (Francisco Mayorga.

Another five parties, two of them evangelical, are still in the process of applying for legal recognition.

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTS NEW BOARD

After eight hours of intricate lobbying and tense voting, the National Assembly elected its new board on January 4, thus ringing in the 1996 legislative session. A Christian Democrat was once again elected to preside over the legislative branch: Cairo Manuel López of the Christian Democratic Union replaces colleague Luis Humberto Guzmán. All legislators proposed by the Sandinista Renovation Movement, which has played an important decision making role in the past two years, failed to get elected, and the MRS itself ended up with no member among the seven elected to the board or others to chair committees. Members of the official FSLN bench played a decisive role in the voting results.

MORE CHURCH BOMBINGS

After two and a half months with no further bombing incidents, another explosive device went off near a church in León the night of January 1. Another exploded in a church in Masaya on February 7, hours before the arrival of the Pope. Then yet another, also in León, 48 hours after the Pope left. The last one brings the total to 22.

On January 12, police in León surrounded and captured over a dozen suspects in previous church bombings in that city, among them three departmental FSLN leaders. Several of those being held confessed and were turned over to judge's orders. National Sandinista leaders declared that if their guilt was proven, all would be expelled from the party.

NEW PASTORAL LETTER

The eight bishops in Nicaragua's Bishops Conference published a new Pastoral Letter on December 16, which explicitly condemns the neoliberal economic model "for trying to resolve the economic situations of countries through a dehumanized market policy and for applying economic and fiscal norms that only favor the population in statistics and in economists' graphics." The bishops proclaimed themselves "partisans of a market economy, but one with a social face."

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