By David Close
David shut and Kalowatie Deonandan concentration their research at the pact struck among the Nicaragua's major events, the Liberals and the Sandinistas, which allowed the passage of the constitutional amendments that weakened Nicaragua's uncomplicated political associations. Undoing Democracy will sharpen our knowing of democratic transition and consolidation, and should function a huge contribution to the literature on Nicaragua, Latin American politics, and democratization.
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Additional info for Undoing Democracy: The Politics of Electoral Caudillismo
The FSLN worked hard to reduce the pluralities needed for a first round presidential election to 40 percent, and as low as 35 percent, if the runner-up is at least five points back. Yet this makes no sense in light of the Pact's push toward a LiberalSandinista duopoly. For the 40 percent floor to work there should be at least three strong parties, each capable of getting at least a fifth of the vote; the 35 + 5 percent provision probably requires four serious parties, if not five. We do not know what the FSLN traded away to get this chimera, but if they gave up much they were snookered.
The Superior Council (SC), as the five-member institution was now called, fired some of the staff working on a number of strategic investigations. Then the SC asked the Supreme Court to quickly resolve all the challenges to accusations of corruption contained in reports filed by Agustin Jarquin when he was comptroller general. " All of Agustin Jarquin's functions were taken away fi-om him and he was accused of heading a corrupt administration. " In June, Byron Jerez, director of Nicaragua's Internal Revenue Department, resigned after the collegial comptroller (CC) established that he held "administrative responsibility" for mishandling and misdirecting hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Particularly disturbing were the measures within the Pact that were added simply in order to have more high-salaried patronage positions, which the nation can ill afford. Most political parties have some patronage at their disposal. But in Nicaragua, the term "the spoils of office" describes a situation that is truly spoiled and rotten, especially when the standard of living of the officeholders is compared to that of 70 percent of the population that survives on less than $2 per day. Even after the arrest of former president Alemhn, the Pact still exists in amendments to the constitution and electoral law, which politicized the Supreme Court and Supreme Electoral Council, as well as local electoral councils, and made the comptroller general a five-member body.