EFEStrasbourg (France)

The European Parliament voted on Thursday to pass a resolution condemning Nicaragua's wave of repression, called for an end to violence after over 80 people have been killed since protests erupted in April against the Central American country's national health system reform and pressed for fresh elections.

The parliament's non-legislative resolution was adopted by 536 votes in favor, 39 against and 53 abstentions, in the wake of Wednesday's marches backing and opposing Daniel Ortega's government which ended in renewed violence with at least three dead and 34 injured.

"MEPs condemned the brutal repression and intimidation of peaceful protesters in Nicaragua, and called for credible elections there, in a vote on Thursday," an EP statement said.

The EP resolution stressed that the repression perpetrated by the Nicaraguan authorities, armed forces, police and violent groups close to the government against peaceful protestors opposing the social security reform had cost the lives of 84 people since mid-April, with more than 860 injured and over 400 arrested.

The statement also called "on Managua to immediately allow an international, independent and transparent investigation to prosecute those responsible."

The resolution underlined that Daniel Ortega, who has been President since 2007 and has been elected three times in succession, has remained in power thanks to the unlawful removal of the term limits enshrined in the Constitution, “in clear breach of the right to democratic elections.”

The resolution deplored what it described as violations of press freedom, both before and during the protests, and called on the government to restore full media freedom, the freedom of speech and to end harassment of journalists.

"Finally, the resolution stresses the urgent need to fight rampant corruption within Nicaragua’s political circles and expresses concern about the links between President Ortega and other conflicts in the region," the statement said.