The ruling party-dominated assembly passed the law on Monday. It had been proposed by the president to prevent those who are believed to be “terrorists” or “traitors to the homeland” from running in the November 2021 election.
The law would ban candidates “who lead or finance a coup... encourage foreign interference, ask for military intervention... propose or plan economic blockades, [and] applaud and champion the imposition of sanctions against Nicaragua or its citizens.”
Nicaragua accuses the opposition of attempting to launch a coup, and of pressing for sanctions against officials after anti-government protests — supported by US — erupted in the country in April 2018.
“Those who ask for international sanctions against Nicaragua or its officials should be candidates in the empire,” said the speaker of the national assembly, Gustavo Porras, referring to the United States. “Those who betray the homeland must be tried.”
Porras is one of 27 Nicaraguan officials close to the president who have been targeted with sanctions by the United States in the past three years.
The opposition reacted to the new law by accusing Ortega of trying to shut down competition in the 2021 general election.