OAS chief asked to apply sanctions if Ortega runs

The Human Rights Foundation is calling on the secretary-general of the Organization of American States to apply the democracy clause of the organization’s charter to prevent the indefinite re-election of President Daniel Ortega, it said Wednesday.

The Human Rights foundation made its request through a letter addressed to Secretary-General José Miguel Insulza that also denounced the recent cases in Bolivia, where a court controlled by President Evo Morales authorized his re-election in a blatant violation of the Bolivian constitution, and in Venezuela, where the constitution was amended in 2009 to allow for President Hugo Chávez to be re-elected indefinitely.

The hemispheric charter said that any president who pushes for a constitutional reform with the aim of making his own re-election possible violates the continental commitment to democratic rule, and it is the duty of the Organization of American States to analyze the situation and establish sanctions, according to Thor Halvorssen, foundation president.

The recent blessing that Insulza gave to President Morales’s unconstitutional reelection is the latest example of the dreadful role this willfully negligent official is playing, Halvorssen added.

The particular clause in the charter is the same one that the hemispheric organization uses when a government is overthrown by a coup.

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