World

Nicaragua’s new constitution becomes law

Changes to Nicaragua’s constitution have gone into effect, paving the way for its leader, Daniel Ortega, to run for a third consecutive term in 2016.
The bill approved last month also scraps the minimum required votes for election and allows the president to issue decrees with force of law.
Mr Ortega says the changes were needed for the impoverished Central American nation’s stability.
But the opposition argues they are a threat to democracy.
The changes were expected to be published on Monday, but hackers attacked the official online publication and its paper version did not appear before Tuesday either.
The Nicaraguan National Assembly approved the changes at the end of January.
The bill scraps limits to the number of terms Nicaraguan presidents can serve.
Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in the region. Its main export is being threatened by coffee rust, a fungus affecting plantations across Central America.
The constitutional changes were approved by 64 votes to 25.
The reform scraps the previous rule that the winning candidate needs to receive at least 35% of the vote to be elected president.
It also allows the appointment of active duty police and military officials to government offices currently set aside for civilians.
– BBC News

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