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Nicaraguan Congress approves Ortega's 'people's councils'

Nicaraguan Congress approves Ortega's 'people's councils'

Nicaraguan lawmakers on Wednesday approved a bill backed by President Daniel Ortega to create "people's councils" that some fear will resemble the defense committees that operated under his 1980s Sandinista government.
However, the unicameral Congress weakened some of the original clauses in the reform bill submitted by Ortega before approving the package 84-0.
The new councils will be more consultative _ forwarding suggestions and advice on government actions _ rather than operational, as were the Sandinista Defense Committees in the 1980s, which critics said acted as spies and enforcers for the leftist government.
Ortega's bill also proposed giving the president direct control of the police, but Congress decided to keep the police under the command of the Interior Ministry.
Opposition legislators said they battled to reduce what some called a grab for power by Ortega, with some warning he may seek to emulate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez or Cuba's Fidel Castro.
Ortega took power earlier this month and says he has moderated his views since the 1980s and wants good relations with Washington.
On Wednesday, he met with a group of U.S. businessmen and afterward told reporters he is "convinced that foreign investment is necessary."


Updated : 2021-07-31 18:28 GMT+08:00