MANAGUA, 07 NOV – With the presence on the territory of 30,000 police officers, the voting operations to choose the president of the republic and the 92 members of the unicameral Parliament for the next five years began today at 7 (14 Italian) in Nicaragua. The electoral appointment was preceded in recent months by continuous action by the judiciary and the police who, applying a law considered to be the ‘defense of the Fatherland’ through which at least 37 political opponents were jailed or placed under house arrest, including various personalities who aspired to the presidential candidacy. Justice has also disqualified political and social parties and organizations and closed the press, blocking the press of the historic opposition newspaper, La Prensa. This has sparked a wave of criticism of the Ortega government from the United States, the European Union (EU), Canada, the OSA and the UN. The US Congress, in particular, has just approved a law called ‘Renacer’, which aims to stimulate strong economic and diplomatic pressure on Managua to obtain truly democratic elections. On its online page, La Prensa newspaper claimed that at least nine opponents were arrested overnight. The polling stations will close at 19 local time (2 Italian tomorrow), or when the last person in line has voted. (HANDLE).