Roadmap to democratization
At the third National Dialogue session on May 23,
the bishops presented the government delegation
with a proposal for democratizing the country
as a starting point for a debate between it and
the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy.
Although this debate has yet to take place,
we offer its full text to show that what
the civic insurrection is proposing
is both legal and constitutional.
Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy
Constitutional mechanisms for holding a free and transparent electoral process in Nicaragua.
A. Free elections and constitutional mechanisms to ensure a fair and transparent electoral procedure as follows:
1. A Partial reform of the Constitution to bring forwerd presidential, municipal, legislative and autonomous regional elections as soon as possible. This requires a temporary authority that covers:
a. A reduction of the term in office for national, municipal, regional and Central American Parliament authorities.
b. Bringing forward and convening general elections for those authorities subject to popular election.
c. A reduction of the term in office for authorities in the following branches of State: Supreme Electoral Council (CSE), Supreme Court (CSJ) and Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR).
2. A reform to eliminate the legislative seats reserved for the ex-President and ex-Vice President as well as for the candidate who places second in presidential elections. In addition, a return to the percentage threshold required for election to the presidency that was in place in 1995.
3. A reform of the Organizational Law of the legislative branch by adding a temporary article that establishes two legislative periods for 2018, the first from January 9, 2018, to June 30, 2018. and the second from August to December 2018, with the objective of approving the partial reform of the Constitution and its immediate entry into effect in 2018.
4. Approval of a legal framework for the transition and democratic governability for implementing the political agreements in the National Dialogue, which would define lines of action for guaranteeing the proposals laid out in this document and consolidating the structural reforms proposed in the May 21, 2018, Dialogue agenda, including but not limited to:
a. The electoral calendar
b. The guarantor (Organization of American States, United Nations, European Union)
c. The new CSE, CSJ and CGR authorities to be named as a result of the consensus achieved at the National Dialogue table.
5. Prohibition of re-election for the presidency and all popularly-elected posts.
6. Creation of a new Supreme Electoral Council made up of honest magistrates with well-established experience, credibility, competence and honesty, who will ensure that citizens’ votes will be duly tabulated and respected.
7. A reform of the Electoral Law resulting from consensus at the National Dialogue table, in accordance with the roadmap determined by the OAS and European Union (2011 and 2016). Likewise, the incorporation of changes stemming from Inter-American Court of Human Rights judgments.
8. Substitution of all division and departmental heads in the electoral branch to purge staff with identified political party (partisan) commitments.
9. National and international election monitoring including participation of the OAS, EU and Carter Center, among others.
10. A new political parties law that promotes their democratization.
11. Total political pluralism, including restoration of the legal status of those parties from whom this status was illegally stripped, and facilitation of the process for new parties to acquire legal status, as well as resoect for existing parties.
12. Incorporation of the presentation of candidates by popular petition into the Electoral law.
13. Detaching of the creation of regional, departmental and municipal electoral councils from party politics.
14. Cleaning and updating of the electoral rolls.
15. Auditing and regulating of the origin of funds for financing election campaigns.
16. Creation of a National Institute for Identity Documents as an autonomous body independent of the electoral branch, with constitutional status.
B. Other structural reforms
1. Full restitution of the social and democratic rule of law.
2. Recognition, respect and exercise of fundamental human rights and freedoms, with emphasis on freedom of assembly, civic and peaceful demonstrations and unfettered freedom of thought, expression and information.
3. Total separation of the branches of government.
4. Reduction in the number of National Assembly reperesentatives.
5. New composition of the Supreme Court of Justice.
6. Separation of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) from the executive branch, converting the INSS into an autonomous, independent and non partisan entity that defends the right to work, to salary and to security.
7. Establishment of an autonomous, independent Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic, including new composition.
8. Establishment of an Office of the Public Prosecutor, post of Prosecutor General and Assistant Prosecutor General completely independent of the executive branch.
9. Restitution of university autonomy.
10.Subordination of the Army of Nicaragua and National Police to civilian authority, emphasizing their national.nonpartisan and professional nature.
11. Full enforcement of the fundamental rights of aboringonal populations, including coverage of issues reñated to land ownership, land and territorial invasions, and the full effect of Caribbean Coast autonomy in accordance with the frameworks established by law and convention (Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization).
12. Specification of the role of a National Dialogue.
Those points of convergence, which reflect a broad based participatory spirit from different sectors convened in this National Dialogue, and constitute a broad national agreement, shall be developed, scheduled and coordinated in the aforementioned National Dialogue by the corresponding constitutional and legal means.
II. HUMAN RIGHTS AND SECURITY AGREEMENTS
1. Fulfillment of the 15 recommendations in the Inter- American Commission on Human Rights preliminary report and the establishment, at the Dialogue table together with the IACHR, of monitoring mechanisms to verify implementation.
2. Constitution of a Truth Commission managed by national and international human rights organizations, the IACHR and UN human rights rapporteurs to investigate and punish human rights violations committed in April and May 2018; as well as promote the invitation to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, according to its request of May 7 and 11, 2018.
3. Compensation and reparation of damages to victims by means of the creation of a National Common Support Fund.