From Fri Mar 19 07:45:13 2004
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2004 23:48:55 -0600 (CST)
Subject: [NYTr] Nica: Ortega Seeks New Parliamentary Leadership
Article: 175611
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;

Prensa Latina—9 March 2004

Daniel Ortega Seeks New Parliamentary Leadership

Prensa Latina, 9 March 2004

Managua, Mar 9 (PL) Sandinista (FSLN) Party leader Daniel Ortega confirmed today his decision to force a vote to unseat the current National Assembly (Congress) executive board, controlled by supporters of former president and convicted felon Arnoldo Aleman.

Ortega holds the Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC) dominated Congressional executive responsible for the current crisis, brought on by an amnesty bill for their leader Aleman, sentenced to 20-years for corruption.

Although the PLC temporarily withdrew the legislation upon failing to assure the necessary votes, Ortega believes the insecurity and instability their motion caused is reason enough for their removal.

Forty-seven votes are required to revoke the current Assembly executive and elect a new board, and the Sandinista leader hopes to obtain a 49-vote majority with 38 FSLN deputies, eight from the pro-Bolanos government bench and three dissident Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC) legislators.

In the 2003 parliamentary session the FSLN, the largest opposition party, shared the executive board with legislators supporting President Enrique Bolanos, leaving the largest single grouping, Aleman's PLC, on the sidelines.

However, things changed in the negotiations for the 2004 board, influenced by the US embassy eager to see a regrouping of Liberals and a marginal role for the Sandinistas.

Aleman and Bolanos legislators then elected a board stacked with legislators who shortly after made their first attempt to obtain an amnesty for the ex-president, serving time under house arrest for sacking the State's coffers.