Nicaraguan opposition calls on Ortega again for dialogue

August 15, 2008

MANAGUA – Various Nicaraguan opposition sectors reiterated their calls to President Daniel Ortega to hold national dialogue to solve social, economic and institutional problems.

On Saturday, Ortega accused the opposition of being “Mr. Contrary” ( “don me opongo” ) and not offering concrete proposals to bring progress to the country.

Several opposition legislators from various groups accepted – with reservations – the president´s former call for more tangible proposals, as well as collaborative efforts, while rejecting the latter.

Liberal Party head Maximino Rodríguez said yesterday to local press that this call is positive and that Ortega should now create the conditions to begin dialogue where words can become actions.

Opposition lawmaker Eduardo Lontealegre, leader of the Nicaraguan Democratic Coalition (BDN), said he is ready to participate in national dialogue, although he expressed reservations over the sincerity of Ortega´s calls.

Montealegre, a mayorial candidate for Managua and second to Ortega in the 2006 presidential general election, signaled that the Sandinista chief of state “only criticizes and tells people to say that we´re populists,” when opposition parties propose legislation.

“When President Ortega tells us, ‘Come sit down here, come and help me resolve this country´s problems,´ when he says it with sincerity, then we´ll be there for the good of the people,” he said.

Meanwhile, the coordinator for the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS), Edmundo Jarquín, also a 2006 presidential candidate, qualified Ortega´s calls as positive, in the sense that it opens the possibility that the Executive Branch listens to those who “are not in line with his government´s logic.”

He added that MRS, made up of Sandinista dissidents, has made varied proposals, namely regarding energy, the majority of which were neglected by Ortega, while others were welcomed, albeit belatedly.

The Catholic and Evangelical churches, business leaders and various civil society sectors have also called upon Ortega to open up national dialogue.

 

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