Change in Nicaragua’s constitution

Nicaragua’s constitution has recently been changed to allow a person to be the president of the country for an unlimited number of terms. The constitution previously allowed a person to be the president for only two non-consecutive (not back-to-back) terms, where a term was for 5 years.

Daniel Ortega is the current president of Nicaragua. He helped overthrow the government of Nicaragua in 1979, and was elected as the president in 1984. He served for one term. After that, he stood for multiple elections again, but lost until his win in 2006. When his second term as president was coming to an end, he decided to stand for elections again, but the country’s laws would have prevented him from becoming president. However, the country’s Supreme Court allowed him to run again for the post of president in 2011, and he won.

There are some countries that limit the number of terms a person can be a country’s leader for. In the United States, for example, a person can be the president for only two terms, where a term is for 4 years. Some leaders try to change their countries’ constitutions so that they can stay in office for longer. A few years ago, the constitutions of Venezuela and Sri Lanka were changed to allow the president to be in office for an unlimited number of terms. In 2009, the president of Honduras tried to change the Honduran constitution to allow a president to stay in office for longer, but the people of Honduras did not approve this and forced the president out of the country.

Nicaragua lies between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It is a land of lakes, waterfalls, volcanoes, forests, birds, corn, bananas, and coffee. Managua is Nicaragua’s capital, and the official language is Spanish. Nicaragua is called “the land of the poets”. They say you can find poets in every corner of the country. Even President Ortega has written poetry.

Did you know?

In the early 1850s, many people living on the eastern coast of the United States had wanted to get to their country’s west coast as gold was discovered there. At the time, there were no trains connecting the country’s east to the west coast. One of the quickest and cheapest ways was to take a ship down to Nicaragua, go on a boat up the San Juan River which emptied into Lake Nicaragua, ride in a wagon on a 12 mile (20 km) journey to the western coast of Nicaragua, and then sail on a ship up to the western coast of the United States.

Image Credits: Kremlin.ru for Ortega’s image, Brassmaster for Cathedral of León’s image
Sources: Economist.com, Al Jazeera, http://www.tnhistoryforkids.org/, theguardian.com, http://eh.net/encyclopedia/california-gold-rush