Nicaraguan prosecutors charged former beauty queen and opposition candidate for the presidential vote Berenice Quezada with inciting terrorism, the attorney general said Wednesday.
Quezada was placed under house arrest a day earlier amid a crackdown against President Daniel Ortega’s opponents ahead of the November 7 election.
The charges against Quezada relate to her participation in the 2018 anti-government protests, which Ortega’s regime had deemed a coup attempt.
She was released pending trial.
Quezada out of the race
Quezada’s arrest came just one day after she officially registered herself as the right-wing Citizens for Freedom Alliance (CxL) candidate for vice president.
The 27-year-old winner of the Miss Nicaragua 2017 beauty pageant was running alongside Oscar Sobalvarro, a former guerrilla leader who fought against Ortega’s left-wing Sandinista party.
CxL had officially registered the pair despite calls from some opposition parties to boycott the election instead of giving it a thin veil of legitimacy.
A sweeping crackdown
In the past two months, Nicaraguan authorities detained dozens of opposition figures. Quezada was the eighth candidate to be arrested since May.
Electoral authorities previously barred two opposition parties from even running candidates.
Unsurprisingly, the Sandinista party officially nominated Ortega for president and his wife and vice president, Rosario Murillo, as his running mate.
The United States and the European Union have recently imposed sanctions against Murillo and other top officials, warning that the elections would not be free, with most contenders jailed.
fb/aw (AP, dpa, Reuters)
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