IACHR Rules of Procedure. It argues that the petition was not filed within the statutory time period, in view of the fact that it was lodged 13 months after the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice of September 30, 2010 settling the amparo suit for constitutional relief filed by President Ortega. Additionally, the State contends that there is no infringement to the exercise of the alleged victim’s rights, inasmuch as the Political Constitution ensures equal treatment for Nicaraguans in the enjoyment of political rights and, as proof thereof, cites the access that the alleged victim had to stand as a presidential candidate during the 2011 elections, as well as his having been a member of the National Assembly based on a second place finish in the voting in accordance with Article 133 of the Constitution. 7. The State underscores its role of protector of fundamental rights, arguing that the 2011 election campaign was held on the basis of the liberties comprising the right to participation, which had been exercised by the alleged victim and other candidates for office, inasmuch as they brought a challenge before the Supreme Electoral Council to the admission of the candidacy of the current leader of Nicaragua and, also, filed requests for reimbursement of campaign expenses. It notes that even though it is true that the challenge was dismissed, the decision of the Supreme Electoral Council is legal and properly based in the Supreme Court judgment of September 30, 2009, which ruled on the amparo suit for constitutional relief brought by President Ortega granting him the right to participate as a presidential candidate. The State contends that all of the foregoing is a consequence of the State’s role as a steward of human rights in its judicial function to provide access to justice. 8. As to the alleged failure to uphold Article 147 of the Constitution, the State cites judgment No. 504, which was handed down by the Supreme Court on October 19, 2009. In said judgment, the Court ruled on the amparo petition for constitutional relief filed by President Ortega and several mayors of municipalities challenging the administrative decision issued by the Supreme Electoral Council on October 17, 2009, denying the motion filed by them to set aside the principle of disqualification from standing as candidates for President and Vice President of the Republic, as well as for Mayor and Vice Mayor. It claims that in exercising its jurisdiction to protect fundamental rights, the judiciary in turn allowed President Ortega to have access to constitutional remedies through the amparo proceeding. It argues that said judgment accepted the petition for relief (amparo) on the grounds that the constitutional provisions of Articles 147 and 178 led to discrimination and disqualification from running for the public offices of President, Vice President, Mayor and Vice Mayor, and claims that it seeks to lift the ban on reelection for any public office in order to not infringe the right to participate in government. VI. PETITION ANALYSIS OF EXHAUSTION OF DOMESTIC REMEDIES AND TIMELINESS OF THE 9. The petitioner claims to have exhausted domestic remedies, when the ruling of April 4, 2011, issued by the Supreme Electoral Council and published April 7 that year was issued, rejecting the “challenge of the candidates for president.” It notes that there are no remedies available in the Nicaraguan legal system to appeal any rulings of the Supreme Electoral Council and, therefore, he was precluded from appealing any decisions, pursuant to Article 173 of the Constitution. The State, in turn, argues that the filing of the petition was not timely, because the date that must be used to establish exhaustion of domestic remedies is based on the Supreme Court decision of September 30, 2010, settling the amparo claim brought by President Ortega. 10. In view of these considerations, as well as the fact that the State has not indicated what remedies should have been pursued to challenge the decision of the Supreme Electoral Council, nor has it disputed that this decision was not appealable, as provided by the Constitution, the Inter-American Commission finds that in the instant petition the exception to the rule of prior exhaustion of domestic remedies set forth in Article 46.2(a) of the American Convention is applicable. 11. Furthermore, with respect to timeliness of the petition, according to the information available in the case file, the ruling of the Supreme Electoral Council, which disallowed the candidacy of the alleged victim, is from April 4 and was published in the Official Gazette on April 7, 2011 and the petition before the Commission was received on October 5, 2011; therefore, in accordance with the exception to Article 46.2(a) of the American Convention, the IACHR concludes that the instant petition was lodged in a timely fashion thus 3

Select target paragraph3