14:22 GMT05 March 2021
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    US rating agency Fitch on Friday revised Nicaragua’s long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating to "B" from "B+" with a negative outlook, citing political instability.

    The downgrade reflects "increasing political instability and the corresponding deterioration of Nicaragua's investment, economic growth, and public finance outlook," it said in a press release.

    The rating agency said attempts at a national dialogue have failed, raising risks of a protracted civil conflict, while declining deposits and incipient-related pressure on international reserves have increased financial and macro stability risks in the context of the country’s highly dollarized financial system.

    Meanwhile, Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary-General Luis Almagro has called for snap presidential and parliamentary elections in Nicaragua to end months of unrest.

    "We suggest holding early general elections… at least in nine months – to allow for new electoral registration – or in 14 months at the latest," he said at the OAS Permanent Council meeting on Friday.

    The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said 212 people have died in anti-government protests in this Central American country since mid-April.

    The protests were sparked by unpopular pension and social security reforms launched by the government of President Daniel Ortega, who has since reversed the move. Attempts by the Church to mediate the crisis have reportedly failed.


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    casualties, human rights, downgrade, economy, protest, Fitch, Organization of American States (OAS), Daniel Ortega, Luis Almagro, Nicaragua
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