Nicaraguan police said on Friday they had sent reinforcements to a remote jungle area devastated by Hurricane Felix after two people were killed in clashes over the suspension of local elections.
The two dead people haven not yet been identified and it wasn’t clear how many people were hurt in the clashes between supporters of the Constitutionalist Liberal Party, or PLC, and a group of Miskito Indians who back the ruling Sandinistas, said police spokeswoman Vilma Reyes.
The fighting apparently centers on the fate of November municipal elections. Last month, President Daniel Ortega said the voting could be postponed because the sparsely populated northeastern region has yet to recover from Hurricane Felix.
On Friday night, Nicaragua’s electoral counsel announced the suspension of municipal elections in the region until April 2009.
The PLC wants the election to proceed, believing it could win, and has said it would ask the nation’s highest court to evaluate the decision.
Felix, a devastating Category 5 storm, killed 101 people when it lashed the Caribbean and slammed into the Nicaraguan and Honduran coasts in early September. The storm also left many people homeless and without the necessary documentation to identify themselves at the polls, officials say.
The PLC and Yatama, a group representing Miskitos who sympathise with the Sardinistas, accused one another of inciting Friday’s violence, during which the city hall building in the regional capital of Puerto Cabezas was reportedly looted. (AP)
Nicaraguan police send reinforcements after 2 killed in political clashes