Nicaragua Government and Politics

Following the 1987 Constitution, most recently amended in 2000, Nicaragua is a unified state, democratic republic. According to, the supreme executive is added to the head of state, the president, who is also the head of government and military commander.

The president is elected (from 1995) for five years in direct elections, possibly with two rounds of elections if no candidate gets more than 35 percent of the vote and at least 5 percent more than the next candidate in the first place. The president could not be re-elected immediately until 2009, when the Supreme Court reversed the legislative text so that the incumbent president and its meanings of re-election. In 2014, the National Assembly removed all restrictions on re-election and made it legal for the president to run for election for an unlimited number of five-year terms.

Legislative authority has been added to the National Assembly, consisting of 90 members elected in general elections according to the principle of proportionality, plus up to two other members: the previous president and the losing presidential candidate with the most votes. The assembly is elected for five years. The Assembly’s resolution can be stopped, in whole or in part, by a presidential vote, if this is abolished within 15 days. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of NI and its meanings of Nicaragua.


Administratively, the country is divided into 15 ministries and two autonomous regions. There are also elected local government bodies at the local level, while the local areas were previously state-controlled. The two autonomous regions are located on the Atlantic coast, where a large proportion of the inhabitants are American Indigenous people.


The judiciary includes, among other things, a Supreme Court, appeals courts and a number of first instance courts. Supreme Court judges are appointed by the National Assembly. The Supreme Court administers the judiciary.

Nicaragua’s defense

Nicaragua has volunteered military service with 18 to 36 months of service. The total force numbers for Nicaragua’s armed forces are around 12,000 active personnel (2018, IISS). The material of the forces is largely outdated, and the Air Force has no fighter aircraft.


The army has a strength of about 10,000 active personnel. Materials include 82 tanks (62 T-55 and 20 T-72), 20 clearing wagons, about 17 storm tanks, about 90 armored personnel vehicles and 12 armored fighters. In addition, the army has medium-heavy artillery.

Air Force

The Air Force has a force of 1,200 active personnel, nine light transport aircraft, two training aircraft, and nine helicopters. In addition, the Air Force has anti-aircraft artillery.

The Navy

The Navy has a force of about 800 active personnel, and eight patrol vessels.

Nicaragua Head of Government

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