MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) -- Former Contra rebel leader Eden
Pastora ended his 34-day hunger strike Thursday after receiving what
he said were assurances from congressional leaders that he would
regain his right to run for public office.
Weak and unable to easily digest liquids after the fast, Pastora had earlier
been treated at a hospital. Pastora, 61, staged the fast to protest a court
decision barring him from a presidential bid because he had once accepted
Costa Rican citizenship.
"I ended the strike because the leaders of congress promised me to
re-interpret the constitutional articles that affect me," Pastora said in a
Legislators were not immediately available to confirm that report.
Pastora, who is demanding the right to run for Nicaragua's presidency in
2001, returned to his protest campsite in front of the Supreme Electoral
Council Thursday after leaving a military hospital earlier in the day.
"I feel my health is weaker," he said.
A doctor had admitted Pastora to the hospital late Wednesday after the
former rebel fainted and complained of persistent nausea and difficulty
digesting liquids, after he had stopped eating solid food August 22.
Known as "Comandante Zero" during his rebel days, Pastora first fought
with the leftist Sandinistas to topple the Somoza regime in 1979 then turned
on them, accusing them of being Marxists. In the 1980s, he led the
U.S.-backed Contra fight against the Sandinista administration.
Because he accepted Costa Rican citizenship during his exile there in the
1977, electoral officials have ruled he cannot seek Nicaragua's presidency.
Pastora argues that the constitution allows Nicaraguans to retain their rights
as long as their second citizenship is in another Central American country.
Copyright 1998 The Associated Press.