Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is rejecting calls for early elections as a solution to a political crisis in which more than 250 people have been killed amid a heavy-handed crackdown on protests. Ortega said late Saturday that the Central American country’s constitution sets the rules and they “cannot be changed overnight.” He said protesters who are demanding he leave office are “coup mongers” and said they should “seek the vote of the people” if they want to govern.
At least five people died and 11 were wounded in acts of violence during and after weekend municipal elections in Nicaragua that saw President Daniel Ortega’s party the victor, various party leaders and local media said Monday. Two people were killed in the remote community of Sandy Bay Sirpi, on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. Both were members of the indigenous Yatama party, the group’s leader, George Henriquez, told AFP. A member of the right-leaning Liberal Constitutionalist Party was killed with a shot to the head as he served as a polling officer in the northern town of Wiwili, a spokesman for the party, Jorge Irias, told the media. The other two killed were members of the Citizens for Liberty Party, in the northern town of Yali, party leaders said.
Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega powered toward his third consecutive term as president of the poor Central American country on Sunday, as voters cheered years of solid growth and overlooked criticisms he is installing a family dynasty. By fusing his militant past with a more business-friendly approach, Ortega stands in stark contrast to many once-dominant Latin American leaders, whose popularity has plummeted in recent years after failing to guarantee gains in economic prosperity. The 70-year-old former guerilla fighter, who is running with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as vice president, had 72.1 percent of votes, with 66.3 percent of polling stations counted, the electoral board said. The announcement sent hundreds of his leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) party supporters out into the streets of Managua to celebrate.
She started out as a teenage mother working as a newspaper secretary, then spent decades of revolution, conflict, power and public scandal at the side of one of the region’s most influential men. Now the first lady of Nicaragua, Rosario Murillo, has succeeded in doing something that seems more like a plotline out of the Netflix series “House of Cards”: She will be on the Nov. 6 ballot to become vice president. Her running mate? Her husband, President Daniel Ortega. The election, in which the couple’s victory and Mr. Ortega’s third consecutive term are all but certain, is a critical step in what people around Ms. Murillo describe as her decades-long climb to power. She paved the way by helping the poor and winning over the public, but also by holding political grudges and pushing aside nearly all the members of her husband’s inner circle. “Denying something to my mother is a declaration of war,” her daughter Zoilamérica Ortega said. But in many ways, the first lady’s spot on the presidential ticket is an acknowledgment of the role she already plays in the country.
On bright-pink billboards across the Nicaraguan capital, President Daniel Ortega looms triumphantly over motorists ahead of next Sunday’s vote, where he’s considered a shoo-in. He’s almost never alone in those ads: Accompanying Ortega is the smiling visage of his first lady, spokeswoman and now running mate, Rosario Murillo. “That woman is the one who rules in the country. She is powerful,” said fruit vendor Roberto Mayorga. “If ‘the man’ dies, she’ll be there. She has been his shadow. There is nobody who can keep her from being next.” Murillo has taken on ever greater responsibility during the last decade that her husband has been in office. She is said to run Cabinet meetings and many Nicaraguans credit her for social programs that have helped keep the ruling Sandinista party’s popularity ratings high.
The United States will continue to give “aggressive scrutiny” to aid loans made to Nicaragua in light of reported irregularities in the country’s presidential election, the U.S. State Department says. Nicaragua’s November elections “were not conducted in a transparent and impartial manner,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement. “The elections marked a setback to democracy in Nicaragua and undermined the ability of Nicaraguans to hold their government accountable.” With 64% of the vote, Daniel Ortega won his second consecutive term and third presidential term overall. Nicaragua’s constitution bars presidents from being re-elected, but that did not stop Ortega from running in his sixth straight presidential race.
President and one-time Sandinista revolutionary Daniel Ortega appeared to have won easy re-election in Nicaragua, according to results released Monday, overcoming a constitutional limit on re-election and reports of voting problems. Ortega had a roughly 2-1 lead over his nearest challenger, Fabio Gadea, while former President Arnoldo Aleman was a distant third with 6 per cent with about 44 per cent of the votes counted by midday.
Electoral council President Roberto Rivas said shortly after Sunday’s vote that a representative quick count of the results gave Ortega a large advantage as well, but he did not describe how that survey was conducted.
The opposition candidate in Sunday’s presidential poll in Nicaragua has rejected the victory of the incumbent President, Daniel Ortega. Fabio Gadea said he could not accept the results presented by the electoral council because “they did not reflect the people’s wishes”.
With 85.8% of the ballots counted, the electoral authorities announced that Daniel Ortega had won with 62.65% of the votes. They said Mr Gadea got 31% of the vote. After announcing the latest figures, president of the Electoral Council Roberto Rivas congratulated Daniel Ortega, because “the trends shown by the results could not be reversed”.
President and one-time Sandinista revolutionary Daniel Ortega is headed for a mandate to stay in office in Nicaragua, overcoming a constitutional limit on re-election and reports of voting problems. Ortega had 64 percent of the votes in a count early Monday, compared with 29 percent for his nearest challenger, Fabio Gadea. Conservative Arnoldo Aleman, a former president, was a distant third with 6 percent after national elections on Sunday.
Only 16 percent of the votes have been counted, but electoral council President Roberto Rivas said a quick count representative of the entire vote gave Ortega a large advantage as well. The methodology of the quick count was not released.
Nicaragua: Observers decry vote irregularities as Nicaragua’s Ortega seeks new term | MiamiHerald.com
Observers from the European Union and the Organization of American States reported Sunday that they had detected serious irregularities in voting in what is expected to be a re-election victory for Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. Ortega, a onetime leftist guerrilla leader and acolyte of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, is seeking his third term in office despite the Nicaraguan Constitution’s ban on presidents serving consecutive terms.
Voting was marred by scattered violence, including reports of gunfire that wounded four people near the coffee-growing city of Matagalpa and arson attacks on several rural precincts. Elsewhere, voting occurred without incident as Nicaragua’s 3.4 million voters aged 16 and older cast ballots for president, vice president and 90 deputies of the National Assembly. Even so, chiefs of the two major international observer teams in Nicaragua for the election voiced deep reservations about how the vote was conducted.
The Carter Center will send a small delegation to Nicaragua during the upcoming presidential and legislative elections on Nov 6. It will include members and advisers to the group of Friends of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.