Current information on the Nationalist Liberal Party (Partido Liberal Nacionalista, PLN) [NIC42166.E]

For background on the Nationalist Liberal Party (Partido Liberal Nacionalista, PLN) of Nicaragua, please refer to NIC26862.E of 30 May 1997.

The leader of the PLN executive in 2000 was reported to be Enrique Sanchez (Bolsa de Noticias 9 May 2000). That year, the PLN was one of several small parties to be disqualified by the Nicaraguan Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) from participating in the 2000 municipal elections (CAR 4 Aug. 2000; Weekly News Update 6 Aug. 2000). The CSE claimed that the five parties did not meet the new legal requirements to qualify as registered political parties; however, some critics of the CSE claimed that the council was influenced by the country's two main parties, the Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC) and the Sandinista Party (ibid.; CAR 4 Aug. 2000).

A 2001 article reported that the "reactivation" (reactivado) of the PLN was led by members of a party faction in Miami, seeking to consolidate liberal ranks by joining in support of a PLC presidential candidate (Bolsa de Noticias 22 Mar. 2001). Armando Arce Paiz, a PLN leader in Managua, met with PLC leader Enrique Bolaños in March 2001 to express PLN support of Bolaños' candidacy and work towards an electoral alliance (ibid.). Hermes Guerrero, veteran leader of the PLN claiming to represent the party, signed an alliance agreement with the PLC soon after (ibid. 23 Mar. 2001).

The PLN officially split in two when the main faction of the party decided to break ranks from the Liberal Unity Movement (Movimiento de Unidad Liberal, MUL) or 23 June Movement (Movimento 23 de Junio), which had been supporting the governing PLC (La Prensa 28 Aug. 2003). The break resulted from a decision by the main faction headed by PLN president Constantino Velasquez, to run separately from the PLC in the 2004 municipal elections (ibid.). The break was not supported by the former national secretary of the PLN, Leonel Teller, nor the honourary PLN president and former Nicaraguan Vice-President, Alfonso Callejas (ibid.). MUL leaders criticizing the split claimed that it was motivated by the personal interests of people involved in land conflicts who had made arrangements with former Nicaraguan President Arnoldo Aleman (ibid.). Before the split, the PLN had announced in April 2003 that it would participate jointly with the PLC in the 2004 municipal elections (Bolsa de Noticias 10 Apr. 2003).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Bolsa de Noticias [Managua]. 10 April 2003. Julio Perez. "Unidad liberal para elecciones municipales." [Accessed 12 Nov. 2003]

_____. 23 March 2001. "PLN y PLC firman acuerdo de alianza electoral." [Accessed 12 Nov. 2003]

_____. 22 March 2001. "Dos fracciones del PLN entran en pláticas con PLC." [Accessed 12 Nov. 2003]

_____. 9 May 2000. "Agenda Miercoles 10 de mayo 2,000." [Accessed 12 Nov. 2003]

Central America Report (CAR) [Guatemala City]. 4 August 2000. No. 2730. "Five Parties Disqualified For Municipal Elections." [Accessed 17 Aug. 2000]

La Prensa [Managua]. 28 August 2003. Consuelo Sandoval. "PLN se separa de la Unidad Liberal." [Accessed 12 Nov. 2003]

Weekly News Update on the Americas [New York]. 6 August 2000. No. 549. "Nicaragua: Minor Parties Thrown Off Ballot." ( [Accessed 7 Aug. 2000]

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