To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the steps taken by the government of Nicaragua to hold free and fair elections and to ensure that its judicial system is independent, following approval of the proposed Nicaragua Investment Conditionality Act 2017 by the United States House of Representatives in October 2017.
The Nicaraguan Government has taken some positive steps towards improving democracy and the rule of law. They invited the Organisation of American States (OAS) to observe the municipal elections in November 2017; committed to the monitoring of the next Presidential elections; and agreed a programme of visits by the OAS focused on strengthening democracy.
While the OAS noted “important advances” in Nicaragua’s electoral process in its preliminary report on the municipal elections, it also made clear that the country's electoral system would benefit from comprehensive electoral reform and a stronger judicial and administrative framework. Pressure on opposition parties, restrictions on the media and a weak judiciary all remain concerns for the strength of democracy in Nicaragua.