WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Organization of American States is calling on the body to formally assess the state of democracy in Nicaragua and possibly to take action to "foster the restoration of democracy."

The Central American nation has been mired in a political crisis since protests broke out in April demanding President Daniel Ortega leave office — followed by a government crackdown on dissenters.

OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro on Friday invoked a section of the organization's charter that could lead to its Permanent Council taking diplomatic measures to restore democracy.

If those fail, the OAS Council could raise the issue to the foreign ministers, who could end up suspending the country from the OAS.

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