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Asamblea Nacional (National Assembly)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Asamblea Nacional / National Assembly
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Structure of parliament Unicameral
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 1965 - 1979
1981 -
President Gustavo Porras Cortés (M) 
Notes Elected on 9 Jan. 2017.
Secretary General Ramón Eduardo Cabrales Aráuz (M) 
Members (statutory / current number) 92 / 92

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Women (current number) 42 (45.65%)
Mode of designation directly elected 90
other 2
Notes Other: the runner-up in the presidential election and the immediate past vice-president.
Term 5 years
Last renewal dates 6 November 2016
(View details)
Address Asamblea Nacional
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (5052) 276 84 72
276 84 82
Fax (5052) 228 10 21
E-mail forouip@asamblea.gob.ni


Parliament name (generic / translated) Asamblea Nacional / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Electoral law 11 November 1812
Last amended: 11.01.2000
Mode of designation directly elected 90
other 2
Constituencies - 17 multi-member constituencies for 70 seats (from 2 to 19 seats each)
- one nationwide constituency comprising 20 seats
Voting system Proportional: Proportional representation, with closed party lists using a national or departmental/regional quotient, depending on the seat. There is no threshold to win a seat.
Each political party or alliance presents a list of candidates in all constituencies. Each list must comprise 50 per cent men and 50 per cent women, ensuring that women and men candidates alternate throughout the list (a "zebra" system). This must apply to both titular and substitute members.
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled by substitutes elected at the same time as titular members of the legislature.
Voting is not compulsory. It is compulsory to be on the voters' register.
Voter requirements - age: 16
- Nicaraguan citizenship, including naturalized citizens
- residence in the country at the time of the election
- citizens overseas can vote under certain conditions
- full possession of civil and political rights

- imprisonment
- conviction for treason, criminal offence, bribery, electoral offence
The above disqualifications are valid while the sentence is being served.
- insanity/mental illness
- undocumented immigrants
Eligibility - qualified electors
- age: 21
- Nicaraguan citizenship by birth
- full possession of civil and political rights

- imprisonment
- conviction for treason, criminal offence, bribery, electoral offence
The above disqualifications are valid while the sentence is being served.
- insanity/mental illness
- undocumented immigrants
- executives and members of the Electoral Commission
Incompatibilities - government ministers and deputy ministers
- members of the Supreme Court and the judiciary
- judges on the Supreme Electoral Council
- members of the Comptroller General's Office
- the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General
- the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General for Human Rights
- the Director and Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions
- mayors, unless they resign their positions twelve months before the election.
- ministers of any religion, unless they resign their office at least twelve months before the election
- members of the armed forces on active service
- government contractors
Candidacy requirements - nomination by a registered political party
- no limit to the number of candidates political parties can submit
- the names of substitute members must be submitted at the same time as those of titular members
- deposit amount and reimbursement: for political parties: the State allocates 1 per cent of the general State budget for reimbursement of the campaign expenses of political parties having obtained at least 4 per cent of the valid votes cast.


Parliament name (generic / translated) Asamblea Nacional / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 6 November 2016
Timing and scope of renewal President Daniel Ortega's Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) took 70 of 90 seats at stake in the 92-member National Assembly (see note 1). The Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC), which allied with the FSLN in the outgoing legislature, took 13 seats, up from 2 previously. The 2016 elections followed the dismissal of 28 opposition members (16 titular members and 12 substitutes) from the outgoing National Assembly, and were boycotted by the opposition (see note 2).

President Ortega was re-elected for a third consecutive term (see note 3). His wife, Ms. Rosario Murillo, became Vice President (see note 4). They were sworn in on 10 January 2017. During the election campaign, the FSLN promised to work for peace, stability and the security of Nicaraguan families. A 50-per cent quota for each sex, introduced by the 2012 amendments to the electoral law, was applied for the first time in the 2016 elections. 42 women were elected, up from 37 in 2011.

Note 1:
In addition to the 90 elected members, one seat is reserved for the runner-up in the presidential election and a second seat goes to the immediate past President of the country or his/her deputy. Mr. Maximino Rodríguez (PLC) took the first seat. Since President Ortega was re-elected in 2016, his deputy, Mr. Moisés Omar Halleslevens Acevedo (FSLN), took the second seat.

Note 2:
Prior to the 2016 elections, Mr. Eduardo Montealegre, President of the Liberal Independent Party (PLI), formed the National Coalition for Democracy (CND) to run for the 2016 presidential elections. On 8 June 2016, the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) issued a ruling that removed Mr. Montealegre as the PLI's legal representative and replaced him with Mr. Pedro Reyes. On 17 June, the CSJ disqualified all CND candidates, including Mr. Montealegre, from the 2016 elections. Other opposition candidates withdrew in protest, leaving President Ortega as the only candidate from a major party in the presidential race. Mr. Reyes subsequently expelled the 28 PLI MPs (16 titular and 12 substitutes), including Mr. Montealegre, from the party. On 28 July, the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) terminated their parliamentary mandates. On 15 August, the CND called for a boycott of the presidential and parliamentary elections and subsequently asked the Court of Appeal to invalidate the CSE decision. On 12 September, the CSJ rejected the appeal. PLI members loyal to Mr. Reyes participated in the 2016 elections and took two seats.

Note 3:
In January 2014, the National Assembly approved constitutional amendments that removed the previous two-term limit and allowed for indefinite presidential re-election. The amendments also scrapped the previous rule that the winning candidate needs to receive at least 35% of the vote to be elected president.

Note 4:
Article 147 of the Constitution bars those related to the president either by blood or affinity from being a candidate for president or vice president but lawmakers differ over the definition of the affinity relationship.
Date of previous elections: 6 November 2011

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 15 December 2016

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: November 2021

Number of seats at stake: 90 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: Not available.

Percentage of women candidates: Not available.

Number of parties contesting the election: Not available.

Number of parties winning seats: 7

Alternation of power: No

Number of parties in government: 1

Names of parties in government: Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN)

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 9 January 2017

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Gustavo Eduardo Porras Cortés (Sandinista National Liberation Front, FSLN)
Voter turnout
Round no 16 November 2016
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN)
Liberal and Constitutionalist Party (PLC)
Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN)
Liberal Independent Party (PLI)
YATAMA ("Sons of Mother Earth")
Alliance for the Republic (APRE)
Conservative Party (PC)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) 70
Liberal and Constitutionalist Party (PLC) 13
Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN) 2
Liberal Independent Party (PLI) 2
YATAMA ("Sons of Mother Earth") 1
Alliance for the Republic (APRE) 1
Conservative Party (PC) 1
Distribution of seats according to sex


Percent of women


Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
National Assembly (05.12.2016)

Note on the "Distribution of seats":
The "Distribution of seats" above refers to the 90 directly-elected members. The "Distribution of seats according to sex" includes the two non-elected members: the runner-up in the presidential election and the immediate past vice-president; both men.


Parliament name (generic / translated) Asamblea Nacional / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Title President of the National Assembly
Term - duration: 2 years, renewable (elected on 9 January)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, death, dissolution of the Assembly
Appointment - elected by all Members of the Assembly on 9 January every year, following the validation of mandates and swearing-in
Eligibility - any member may be a candidate
Voting system - formal vote by public ballot and absolute majority, in 2 rounds if necessary
Procedures / results - the Junta Directiva Provisional, which consists of the 2 oldest Members and the 2 youngest, presides over the Assembly during the voting
- the Junta Directiva Provisional supervises the voting
- the Junta Directiva Provional announces the results without delay
- the results cannot be challenged
Status - represents the Assembly in international bodies
- in the absence of the President, the first Vice-President can assume his/her role and functions
Board - the Junta Directiva consists of 6 Members elected for the same period as the President
- it meets at least once a week
- it exercises a collegial presidency
Material facilities - allowance
- official car
- secretariat
- bodyguards
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions
- establishes and modifies the agenda
- organizes the debates and sets speaking time
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments
- refers texts to a committee for study
- examines the admissibility of requests for setting up committees and/or committees of enquiry, proposes or decides on the setting-up of such committees
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Assembly
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- establishes the order in which amendments are taken up
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the Assembly
Special powers - appoints the Clerk
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Chamber
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - takes the floor in legislative debates
- provides guidelines for the interpretation or completion of the text under discussion
- takes part in voting
- proposes bills or amendments
- intervenes in the parliamentary oversight procedure
- can have laws published
- may be consulted in certain circumstances (dissolution, etc.)

This page was last updated on 7 March 2017
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