817.00/5085: Telegram

The Chargé in Nicaragua (Munro) to the Secretary of State

285. My October 12, 9 a.m. A decree was issued yesterday ordering supplementary elections on December 18th in those precincts [Page 366]in the Departments of Leon, Esteli, and Bluefields where no voting occurred on September 4th.

While I could find nothing definite in the electoral law requiring 60 days’ notice, the President and his advisers said that the law always had been so interpreted and that Congress might take occasion to declare the new elections invalid if furnished with any excuse to do so. As Doctor Morales, Moncada’s representative, concurred in this opinion when I originally discussed the matter with him I consented to the calling of the elections for December 18th, the first possible Sunday, although this will mean that the Senators and Deputies then elected will not be able to take their seats until a few days after Congress meets. Yesterday after the decree had been drafted and was about to be issued Doctor Aguado, the Liberal member of the National Board of Elections, questioned the necessity for 60 days’ notice. I felt it inadvisable to recommend a change in the date because I considered it important not to give the Conservative majority in Congress, over whom Diaz may not have very much control, any excuse for excluding the Liberal members. If the Liberals had not delayed more than a month in furnishing me the information needed for taking up this matter the elections could have been held before the opening of Congress.

Some question existed regarding the necessity for holding supplementary elections in certain precincts of Leon. Both the President and Doctor Aguado felt it advisable to include these and I therefore raised no objection although this may mean that the two Senators from the department will not be able to take their seats until after the election has been held. Doctor Morales, I believe, felt that new elections should not be held in this department but I was unable to get in touch with him yesterday when a final decision had to be reached.

Munro