A woman prepares to cast her vote in Nicaragua's election A woman prepares to cast her vote in Nicaragua's election  (AFP or licensors)

Nicaragua: Ortega wins fourth term following election

Daniel Ortega and wife Rosario Murillo will rule Nicaragua for another five years, following a Presidential Election, in which they've run largely unopposed, as viable opposition candidates are either in prison or under house arrest.

By James Blears

Nicaragua's Supreme Electoral Council, which prior to the election had banned three opposition parties, claims the turnout of the country's 4.5 million eligible voters is 65 percent.

With something over half the ballots counted they say Daniel Ortega and wife Rosario Murillo of the Sandinista Front have won 75 percent of the vote. So they've secured five more years of power.

No real challengers

Some international observers have witnessed the proceedings, but not those from the European Union or the Organization of American States, both of which have roundly criticized the process in its entirety. 

Seven potential Presidential Election candidates were arrested on June 7th, and following this it became a political two-horse race. The National Assembly race is going exactly the same way. 

'Pantomime election'

US President Joe Biden says the couple have "orchastrated a pantomime election."

He said the US will use "all diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal to support the people of Nicaragua and hold accountable the Ortega-Murillo Goverment who facilitate these abuses."

He's also calling for those who've been detained to be released. 

This suggests that sanctions thus far applied to the inner circle of the power brokers could be widened and deepened. 

Holding on to power

With a revolution, Daniel Ortega ended the odious dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza in 1979, deposing him. 

He won the Presidential Election in 1985 and ruled until 1990, but then lost his grip. But he regained it in 2007, and has tenaciously held on ever since. It'll now been extended until he's eighty years old. 

08 November 2021, 14:51