Managua [Nicaragua], June 22 (ANI): Nicaragua's National Police have detained the fifth presidential candidate allegedly accused of committing anti-national acts, bringing the total number of opposition leaders so far detained to 15 ahead of the November general election.

Citing police statement, CNN reported that Miguel Mora Barberena, from the Democratic Restoration Party (PRD), was detained on Sunday. He was accused of committing acts that threaten national sovereignty.

Mora is a presidential candidate, journalist and owner of the now shut down 100 per cent Noticias TV channel. He is the fifth presidential candidate detained this month, along with journalist Cristiana Chamorro, who has been under house arrest since June 2.

Apart from them, many including -- former diplomat Arturo Cruz has also been arrested earlier on June 5, and political scientist Felix Maradiaga and economist Juan Sebastian Chamorro, both arrested on June 8.

CNN further stated that in recent weeks, a total 15 opposition leaders have been arrested and charged with vague, so-called "national security" violations, which human rights groups say is a clear sign that the country's strong-man leader President Daniel Ortega is doing his best to eliminate dissent and crush any competition ahead of upcoming general elections on November 7, a vote where he hopes to secure his fourth consecutive term as president.

The crackdown has generated international condemnation. Critics accuse Ortega, along with his wife and Vice President, Rosario Murillo, of eroding Nicaraguan democracy. The first couple have also centralized the executive branch of government and named loyalists to the Supreme Court, the Attorney General's office and even the Supreme Electoral Council.

Mexico and Argentina on Monday recalled their ambassadors to Nicaragua for consultations, citing "worrying legal actions by the Nicaraguan government."

"The governments of Mexico and Argentina report that today [they] have instructed their ambassadors to Nicaragua, Gustavo Alonso Cabrera Rodriguez and Mateo Daniel Capitanich, to travel to their capitals for consultations on the worrying political-legal actions taken by the Nicaraguan government in recent days, that have put the integrity and freedom of many opposition figures (including presidential candidates), activists and Nicaraguan businessmen at risk," read a joint statement from the two countries.

Both countries said they would remain on alert to developments in Nicaragua and would continue to promote full respect of human rights, as well as civil and political rights, and the freedom of speech of all people, regardless of nationality or profession. (ANI)

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