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Nicaragua authorities arrest two more possible challengers to Ortega

Nicaragua authorities have arrested two more potential presidential challengers to veteran leader Daniel Ortega in polls later this year.

Updated Jun 09, 2021 04:09 AM

Nicaragua authorities arrest two more possible challengers to Ortega

Felix Maradiaga and Juan Sebastian Chamorro have been accused of terrorism and plotting against Nicaragua's sovereignty and independence, the BBC reported.

They were held under a controversial new security law passed in December by Ortega's government.

Two other opposition leaders have been arrested in recent days.

The US branded Ortega "a dictator" following Tuesday's arrests.

Last week, opposition leader Cristiana Chamorro was placed under house arrest for alleged money laundering, which she denies.

And on Saturday another opposition figure, Arturo Cruz, was detained at Managua airport as he arrived from the US.

President Ortega, 75, is seeking a fourth consecutive term in November's election.

On Tuesday, Maradiaga, 44, was summoned to the public prosecutor's office in Managua and after being questioned he left the building, saying: "I am going to stay in the running for the presidential candidacy."

According to reports, police then stopped him and his lawyer in their car. An opposition spokesman said Mr Maradiaga had been beaten by police during the arrest and that his whereabouts were unknown.

Shortly afterwards, Juan Sebastian Chamorro - a cousin of Cristiana Chamorro - was detained at his home outside Managua.

Separate police statements said the arrests were carried out for the same reasons - for "carrying out acts that undermine independence, sovereignty, and self-determination, inciting foreign interference in internal affairs, and calling for military interventions".

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