Tuesday, December 2, 2008

MCC Urges Nicaraguan Government to Respect Democracy - A Hint of What's to Come for El Salvador?

Chief executive officer of the MCC, John Danilovich, has decided to reevaluate the aid package from MCC to Nicaragua due to irregularities regarding the recent municipal elections in Nicaragua.

This decision comes after recently-reelected Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega refused accreditation to independent election observers to monitor the elections, violence erupts in Nicaragua following the election results, and the opposition and unofficial election observers allege fraud. As a result, MCC has now suspended all disbursements to all projects and activities which are not already contracted with the MCA-Nicaragua, until further notice.

Danilovich states: "We had hoped, for the sake of the Nicaraguan people, that the government would continue the country's trend towards peaceful, democratic, and credible elections," I am afraid that recent evidence shows that this is not the case."

The way the elections were undertaken did not comply with the standards required by MCC in order to deliever grants to reduce poverty. MCC have determined to restrict their funds to governments that are committed to economic freedom, good governance, and free and fair elections.

Danilovich urges the Nicaraguan government to return to the principles of democratic norms, and MCC's board of directors will for the next weeks reassess Nicaragua's eligibility with a view on recent events.

The MCC's decision serves as a warning to El Salvador, whose own municipal and legislative assembly elections take place on January 18, 2009, and the presidential election on March 15, 2009. To learn how you can be an election observer for the Salvadoran elections, click here.

Click here to read the full MCC press release.

- Posted by Lars Joon Flydal and Sara Skinner

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