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Nicaragua says it will leave Organization of American States

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MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Nicaragua’s government announced Friday that it will withdraw from the Organization of American States, a regional body that has accused President Daniel Ortega’s government of acts of repression and rigging this month’s election.

Nicaragua Foreign Minister Denis Moncada said in a news conference that he sent an “official communication” to OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro citing the body’s “repeated acts of meddling” in Nicaragua.

Ortega was elected to a fourth consecutive term in Nov. 7 elections that were broadly criticized as a farce. Seven likely challengers to Ortega were arrested and jailed in the months prior to the election.

The OAS General Assembly last week voted to condemn the elections, saying they “were not free, fair or transparent, and lack democratic legitimacy.”

Twenty-five countries in the Americas voted in favor of the resolution, while seven — including Mexico — abstained. Only Nicaragua voted against it.

The OAS did not immediately confirm whether Almagro had received Nicaragua’s letter or offer comment. According to OAS rules, it would take two years for Nicaragua to leave the body.

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