Nicaragua: Ortega re-elected; US charges irregularities, voter intimidation

Sandinista candidate and incumbent President Daniel Ortega was re-elected to lead Nicaragua Nov. 6. The United Nicaragua Triumphs Alliance headed by the Sandinista party (FSLN) won some 64% percent of the vote, followed by the Independent Liberal Party (PLI) candidate Fabio Gadea with 30%, and the Constitutional Liberal Party candidate Arnoldo Alemán with 6%. The US State Department expressed its “concern” with “reports” of “procedural irregularities and voter intimidation.” A youth of 18 was shot in the leg in a clash between Sandinista and opposition supporters in Jalapa, Nuevo Segovia department. Local PLI supporters said soldiers fired on the crowd. Electoral violence was also reported from Totogalpa, Madriz department, where a truck belonging to a local cooperative had its windows smashed.

Before Ortega had acknowledged his own victory, the Venezuelan government issued a statement in the name of President Hugo Chávez hailing him as victor. “The Bolivarian revolution will continue working next to the popular, Christian, allied and socialist Sandinista revolution,” the communiquĂ© said. Since 2008, Ortega’s government has benefited from about $500 million a year in aid from Venezuela—about 7% of Nicaragua’s gross domestic product. (Nicaragua Network, Nuevo Diario, Nuevo Diario, NPR, Nov. 7)

See our last posts on Nicaragua and the struggle in Central America.

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  1. Amnesty calls on Nicaragua to investigate electoral violence
    Amnesty International is calling on Nicaraguan authorities to investigate electoral violence, mostly in the north of the country, which is now said to have left four dead. The four confirmed fatalities—all as a result of bullet wounds—include an FSLN political secretary in Siuna (North Atlantic Autonomous Region), as well as three PLI supporters in San José de Cusmapa (Madriz department). (AI, Nov. 11)