Nicaragua president scraps pension cuts after deadly riots

(BBC) – Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega has scrapped the changes to social security that have prompted violent protests across the country since Wednesday.

Speaking on national television, Mr Ortega renewed calls for the private sector to engage in talks.

But business leaders say they will only negotiate when the government stops “repression against the protests”.

At least 25 people have been killed since pensioners and students first took to the streets.

More than 100 people have been injured. The dead include two protesters and a policeman who were killed in Managua on Friday, after demonstrations turned violent.

Protesters accuse riot police and troops deployed across the country of carrying out most of the violence.

This is the biggest challenge faced by Mr Ortega, the former Sandinista rebel leader in power since 2007.

“The previous resolution of April 16, 2018, which was the resolution that kicked off this whole situation, is being revoked, cancelled, put aside,” he said.

The issue of social security reforms will be put to debate again once the situation in Nicaragua is normalised, Mr Ortega added.

The social security legislation was approved on Wednesday. It increased pension contributions for workers and employers and reduced overall benefits by 5%.

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