Police in Nicaragua arrested a presidential candidate for the seventh time on Saturday. Noel Vidaurre has been placed under house arrest ahead of the November election, reports the police. Almost all challengers to current President Daniel Ortega are now incarcerated. Political commentator Jaime Arellano was also arrested on Saturday.
Vidaurre and Arellano are accused of undermining the “independence and sovereignty” of the Central American country. Arellano has been arrested over a critical comment he wrote after Ortega’s speech. The Nicaraguan president has arrested at least 28 opposition members in recent months. They have also been charged with undermining the country’s sovereignty.
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The 75-year-old president hopes to secure his fourth term in this way. Ortega has been in power since 2007, having also led the country between 1979 and 1990. His wife Rosario Murillo is vice president and his children are also in influential positions. Ortega claims that “criminals” want to oust him with American support. He now has his opponents arrested through a controversial law.
The arrests have previously sparked a wave of international criticism. The United States called for him to be treated like a dictator and Argentina and Mexico have withdrawn their ambassadors from the country.