Nicaraguan lawmakers have approved constitutional changes that would
allow President Daniel Ortega to be re-elected indefinitely, a move that
his critics say is designed to keep the Sandinista leader in power for
The largely Sandinista National Assembly
voted for the amendments a second time Tuesday as required for them to
The changes eliminate presidential
term limits and lower the bar for election by naming the candidate with
the most votes as the winner. Until now, a candidate needed to garner at
least 35 percent of the votes to win.
Sixty-three of the 92 deputies in the assembly belong to Ortega's party
and the vote was 64-25 in favor of the changes.
Ortega is serving his third term under a Supreme Court decision that overrode the constitutional ban.