The Government and Political System in Nicaragua
The government of Nicaragua currently adopts a constitutional democracy form of government. Basically, the government is subdivided into four co-equal branches, namely, the executive, legislative, judicial and electoral branches. Like with any constitutional democracy type of government, a president is the highest official and is both head of state and head of government.
The executive branch is directly under the president’s office as all administrative functions are channeled through the different ministries of the government. All ministers are appointed by the president and are usually co-terminus with the term of the president. As per the president’s mandate, he appoints a minister for the following ministries:
- Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport
- Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
- Ministry of Defense
- Ministry of Environment and Natural Ministry of Resources
- Ministry of Family
- Ministry of Finance and Public Credit
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Ministry of Governance
- Ministry of Industry and Commerce
- Ministry of Labor
- Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure
The legislative branch of government of Nicaragua is represented by the National Assembly of Nicaragua, a unicameral legislative body. On the whole, the National Assembly is made up of 90 deputies plus two extra seats as the President is entitled to sit as a deputy and the presidential runner-up of the most recent election. The regular deputies earn their seats by virtue of popular vote representing either a national, department or autonomous region based party list.
On the judicial side, the Supreme Court represents the highest office in Nicaragua’s judicial system. Courts of appeal, district judges and the local judges basically make up the judiciary members of this equally important branch of government.
Lastly, the electoral branch known in Nicaragua as the Supreme Electoral Council consist of seven magistrates. This body of government organizes, conducts and oversees all elections, plebiscites and referendums. The magistrates are elected by members of the National Assembly and have recently been extended to a 7-year term from a 5-year term.