San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Sandinista High Court to Print its own Constitution

So far unable to come up with the 56 votes in the National Assembly needed to reform the Constitution, former Supreme Court magistrate Rafael Solís announced last week that the Sandinista-dominated high court was going to reprint a new “official version” of the Constitution that includes the controversial article 201, which allows officials whose terms have expired to continue in office until new officials are elected.

Solís, whose term ended two months ago but refuses to hand in his gavel, insists that Article 201 – a transitory article that existed in the previous Constitution – is still valid, and was simply not included in the latest version of the Constitution due to a “printing error.” Non-Sandinista lawyers, however, say it wasn’t included in the Constitution because it’s no longer a valid part of the Constitution.

But Solís, a loyal follower of President Daniel Ortega, announced that the Supreme Court is going to reprint the Constitution and include article 201, which would make his continuance in the court legal. Other Sandinista magistrates have defended Solís’ announcement.

However, National Assembly president René Núñez said this week that only the National Assembly can print official versions of the constitution.

“According to law, the National Assembly edits the official version of the constitution. Other state institutions can print the Constitution, but it’s not the official version,” Núñez said.

–Nica Times

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