Is the stability of Nicaragua at risk?

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Is the stability of Nicaragua at risk?

Postby El Pelon » Tue Nov 16, 2004 12:03 pm

Is the stability of Nicaragua at risk?
By: Dorothy Kosich
Posted: '15-NOV-04 02:00' GMT © Mineweb 1997-2004

RENO ( Nicaraguan President Enrique Bolaños, an engineer and businessman, is being pressured by some to leave office as the nation's leftist Sandinista Front again tries to reassert power in the country in the wake of successful local elections.

Among the mining companies currently mining or conducting exploration in the nation are Glencairn Gold, Radius, RNC Gold, and Meridian Gold. However, at least one mining company maintains the local elections won't impact its operations.

Nicaragua's federal controller's office has accused Bolaños of failing to explain where the $7 million he used in his 2001 presidential campaign came from. Bolaños says his crusade to clean up Nicaragua's government generated the accusations.

The Sandinista Front, which had ties to Cuba and the former Soviet Union, ruled Nicaragua from 1979-1990. During that era, private investment fled the country. After recent local elections across the nation, Sandinistas have captured several key mayoral posts include the capital city of Managua. Daniel Ortega, the former President of Nicaragua, remains the leader of the Sandinistas.

Nevertheless, the executive of one mining company with lengthy experience in Nicaragua told Mineweb Monday that the company has seen no impacts on permitting, community relations, and other aspects of doing business in the country. In fact, he added, the Sandinistas have occupied the mayor's office for quite some time in Managua with no noticable impact on Nicaragua's pro-business environment.

In a recent article in the Washington Post, Salvador Stadthagen, Nicaragua's U.S. Ambassador wrote," An epic battle against corruption is being fought in Nicaragua, and its outcome will prove decisive for the future of our small Central American country. The strongmen, or caudillos, who realize that more transparent and accountable institutions are not in their best interest, seem willing to subvert the constitutional order and even to overthrow a democratically elected president to they can keep things going their way."

Stadthagen claimed that the caudillos "are using their control over state institutions to try to blackmail Bolaños and force him to relinquish his anti-corruption campaign."
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