MANAGUA, Nicaragua – President Daniel Ortega won as Nicaragua’s chief, electoral officials said late Sunday since they released results which the opposition referred to as a farce.
With about a fifth of ballots counted in the race, Ortega had more than 71 percent of the votes, the president Roberto Rivas, of the Supreme Electoral Council, stated.
Ortega hurried along with his wife, Rosario Murillo, in a race that pitted him from five successful candidates after the opposition weakened as his vice presidential candidate.
The procedure was commended by Murillo, although critics of the government stated the election was unfairly tilted against the opposition. Emerging with her husband after casting their ballots soon before the polls closed, she called the vote “an exemplary, historic election.”
There were no vote counts Sunday for 92 seats which were contested.
Rivas also said 65% of Nicaragua’s 3.8 million registered voters participated in the election. The resistance, which had urged people to boycott the vote, disputed that, asserting turnout was low. The major resistance movement, the Broad Front for Democracy, estimated “over 70 percent” of respondents did not cast ballots.
Ortega and his leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front have benefited in the Central American nation’s stable economic growth and low levels of violence compared to El Salvador and Honduras. The social applications of that the lady are also cited by Nicaraguans as a significant reason for the popularity of the governing party.
But critics accused Ortega of manipulating the strategy to ensure he and his allies remained by delegitimizing the sole opposition force seen as capable of challenging him, allowing indefinite presidential re-election and controlling all branches of government. They stated he wants to create a dynasty.
“I don’t think it’s worth voting and wasting time, as it is already fixed,” Glenda Bendana, an appliance sales executive at a Managua shopping mall, said. “Here they’ve removed not our right to vote yet to select. Ortega would like to die in electricity and leave his wife to take his position.”
Eva Duarte Castillo, using a diploma in advertising, was. “I came to vote because it is not just my best as a citizen, it is also my responsibility. It’s a responsibility and it was exercised by me. I’m very happy,” she explained in a polling station at the capital’s Altamira Managua neighborhood.
In July, the Supreme Electoral Council of Nicaragua effectively decimated the resistance by ousting all of its members from congress — 28 busy and alternate legislators in your fledgling Independent Party and the allied Sandinista Renovation Movement. Reyes was named head of the resistance by the Supreme Court however is seen by many as a tool of Ortega.
Nicaraguans seen Ortega’s five challengers as opponents who were placed to make it seem the president had legitimate contest.
After helping topple the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza as a Sandinista guerrilla leader, Ortega ruled Nicaragua in 1979-1990, then lost electricity in an defeat that was unexpected. He returned to the presidency.
Ortega will be facing an increasingly difficult regional arena in his term. Leftist ally Venezuela is overrun by an economic crisis and Cuba is normalizing relations with the U.S.. The U.S. Congress is working on legislation to require the U.S. government to oppose loans to Nicaragua from international financing institutions.
“The lack of Venezuelan support, the international price of petroleum, the purchase price of our exports and also the chance that (U.S. legislation passes) makes it a much more complex outlook for the Ortega at another term,” said Oscar Rene Vargas, a sociologist and economist in Central American University.
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