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Central American University - UCA  
  Number 65 | Noviembre 1986
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Nicaragua

Appendix: Key Constitutional Articles Approved

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TITLE I
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
CHAPTER I


INDEPENDENCE AND SOVEREIGNTY OF THE HOMELAND
Art. 1:
Independence, sovereignty and self-determination are inalienable rights of the people and of the Nicaraguan nation. Any foreign interference in the national affairs of Nicaragua or any attempt to undermine its independence are offenses against the people.

DEMOCRACY
It is the people's right and the duty of all citizens to preserve and defend the independence of the homeland, as well as sovereignty and national self-determination, with arms if necessary.

THE SEARCH FOR PEACE AND A JUST WORLD ORDER
Art. 2
National sovereignty rests with the people, the source of all power and creators of their own destiny. The people exercise democracy by freely deciding on and participating in the economic, political and social systems that best suit their interests. The people exercise power both directly and through their representatives elected by universal, equal, free, direct suffrage and secret ballot.

TRANSFORMATION OF THE SOCIETY
Art. 3
The struggle for peace and the establishment of a just world order are unrenounceable national commitments of the Nicaraguan nation. Therefore, we oppose all forms of colonialist and imperialist domination and exploitation. (...)

Art. 4
The Nicaraguan people have established a new State in order to promote their interests and guarantee their social and political achievements. The State is the people's fundamental instrument to eliminate all forms of exploitation and submission of human beings, to promote the material and spiritual progress of the entire nation, and to ensure that the interests and rights of the popular majority prevail.

POLITICAL PLURALISM, MIXED ECONOMY AND NONALIGNMENT
Art. 5
The State guarantees the existence of Political Pluralism, Mixed Economy and Nonalignment. In Nicaragua, within the framework of political pluralism, the State guarantees the existence and participation of all political organizations in the economic, political and social affairs of the country, without ideological restrictions except to those who seek a return to the past or advocate the establishment of a similar political system. The principle of a mixed economy assures the existence of different forms of property: public and private, as well as associative, cooperative and communal; all of these forms of property must serve the best interests of the nation and contribute to the creation of wealth to meet the needs of the country and its inhabitants. Nicaragua bases its international relations on the principle of Nonalignment, in the search for peace and respect for the sovereignty of all nations; therefore, Nicaragua opposes all forms of discrimination, colonialism, imperialism and racism and rejects the subordination of any State by another.

TITLE II
THE STATE
CHAPTER I


Art. 6
Nicaragua is an independent, free, sovereign, unitary and indivisible State.

Art. 7
Nicaragua is a participatory and representative democratic Republic. It has four Branches of Government: Legislative, Executive, Judicial and Electoral.

Art. 8
The Nicaraguan people are multiethnic in nature and form an integral part of the Central American Nation.

Art. 9
Nicaragua, a firm defender of Central American unity, supports and promotes all efforts to achieve political and economic integration as well as cooperation in Central America. It also supports the efforts to establish and preserve peace in the region. Nicaragua desires the unity of the people of Latin America and the Caribbean, sharing these ideals of Bolivar and Sandino. Therefore, Nicaragua shall participate with other Central American and Latin American countries in the creation and election of the necessary bodies to achieve such goals. This principle shall be regulated by respective Legislation and Treaties.

(...)
LANGUAGE
Art. 11
Spanish is the official language of the State. The languages of the communities of the Atlantic Coast shall also have official use in all cases established by Law.

(...)
RELIGION
Art. 14 The State has no official religion.
(...)

TITLE IV
RIGHTS, DUTIES AND GUARANTEES OF THE NICARAGUAN PEOPLE
CHAPTER I


INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS
Art. 23
The right to life is inviolable and inherent to all persons. In Nicaragua, there is no death penalty.

Art. 24
All persons have duties to their families, the community, the homeland and humanity. An individual's rights are limited by the rights of others, the security of all and the reasonable requirements of the common good.

(...)
Art. 26
All persons have the right to their private life and that of their family; to the inviolability of their home, correspondence and communications and to respect for their honor and reputation.

Art. 27
All individuals are equal before the law and have the right to equal protection. There shall be no discrimination based on birth, nationality, political belief, race, color, gender, language, religion, opinion, origin, economic position or social conditions.

(...)
Art. 29
All persons have the right to freedom of conscience, thought and religion, including the right not to practice a religion. No one shall be the object of coercive measures that undermine these rights, nor shall persons be obliged to declare their creed, ideology or beliefs.

Art. 30
All Nicaraguans have the right to freely express their thoughts in public or private, individually or collectively, in oral, written or any other form.

(...)
Art. 33
No one may be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned, or be deprived of liberty, except in cases established by Law and in accordance with legal procedures: Therefore;

1. An individual may only be detained by a written order from the competent Judge or officials expressly authorized by Law, except in cases of flagrant crimes.

2. All detained persons shall have the right:

a) To be informed and have their families informed in detail of the causes of their detainment and the accusation against them without delay in a language they understand, and to be treated with respect in accordance with the dignity inherent to human beings.

b) To be brought before the authority authorized by Law within 72 hours.

(...)
Art. 36
All persons shall have the right to physical, psychological and moral integrity. No one shall be subjected to torture or inhumane, cruel or degrading punishment. Violation of this Law constitutes a crime and shall be punishable by Law.

Art. 37
The penalty shall not extend beyond the person accused. There shall be no penalty or penalties that independently or together total more than thirty years.

(...)
Art. 39
In Nicaragua the Penitentiary System is humane. Punishment has a rehabilitative character; its fundamental objective is the transformation of the interned in order to reintegrate him or her into society. The progressive steps within the Penitentiary System shall promote family unity, health care, educational and cultural advancement and productive occupation with financial compensation for the interned.

(...)
Art. 42
In Nicaragua the right to asylum is guaranteed to those persecuted for struggling for democracy, peace, justice and human rights.

(...)
Art. 46
All persons in the national territory shall enjoy state protection and recognition of the rights inherent to human beings, as well as unrestricted respect, promotion and protection of human rights, and the full exercise of the rights consecrated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Pact of Economic and Social Rights and the International Pact of Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations; and the American Declaration of the Rights of Men and the American Convention of Human Rights of the Organization of American States.

CHAPTER II


POLITICAL RIGHTS
Art. 47
All Nicaraguans who have reached 16 years of age are considered citizens

(...)
Art. 48
Unconditional equality in the enjoyment of political rights and the exercise of these rights, as well as in the fulfillment of duties and responsibilities is established; there exists absolute equality between men and women. It is the obligation of the State to remove the obstacles that impede an effective participation of Nicaraguans in the political, economic and social life of the country.

(...)
Art. 50
Citizens have the right to participate under equal conditions in public affairs and in state management.

(...)
Art. 51
All citizens have the right to vote in periodic elections, be elected and vie for public office.

(...)
Art. 53
The right to peaceful gathering is recognized; the exercise of this right does not require prior permission.

(...)
Art. 58 All Nicaraguans have the right to education and culture.

Art. 59 All Nicaraguans have equal rights to health care. The State shall establish the basic
conditions for the promotion, protection, recuperation and rehabilitation of health.

(...)
Art. 62 It is the right of all Nicaraguans to be protected against hunger. The State shall promote programs that assure equitable availability and distribution of food.

(...)
Art. 65
Nicaraguans have the right to truthful information. This right consists of the freedom to seek, receive and disseminate information and ideas, be they spoken, written, graphic or in any other form.

Art. 66
The right to information is a social responsibility and shall be exercised in such a way that it maintains strict respect for the principles established in the Constitution. This cannot be subjected to censorship, except as it relates to further responsibilities established in the Law.

Art. 67
The mass media shall be for the service of the national interests. They shall not respond to the interests of foreigners or the monopolies of any economic group. The existence and functioning of public, private or corporate communication media shall be subject to what is established by Law and shall not be the object of prior censorship.

Art. 68
All persons, either individual or in a group, have the right to practice their religious beliefs in public or private, celebrate rituals and practices and teach their religion.

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