Ortega wins re-election in Nicaragua
MANAGUA, Nicaragua - The Associated Press
Ortega (R) and Venezuela’s President Chavez are seen in this file photo. AP photoPresident and one-time Sandinista revolutionary Daniel Ortega was re-elected in a landslide, according to results released on Oct.7, overcoming a constitutional limit on re-election and reports of voting problems in Nicaragua.
Ortega had 63 percent support compared to 31 percent for his nearest challenger, Fabio Gadea, with 86 percent of the votes counted from Nov. 6’s election. Former President Arnoldo Aleman was a distant third with 6 percent. The U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland repeated U.S. concerns over whether the elections were transparent and free of intimidation, violence and harassment. A team from the EU said it would issue a report yesterday after complaints that included a polling place set on fire, election officials obstructing voters from opposing parties and protests by those who didn’t receive their voting credentials. Aleman’s Liberal Constitutionalist Party said it would not recognize the results or Ortega’s presidency, and said his overwhelming support was either a result of fraud or low turnout.
Since returning to power in 2007, the 65-year-old Ortega has boosted his popularity in Nicaragua with a combination of pork-barrel populism and support for the free-market economy he once opposed. His opponents feared that if Ortega wins with a clear majority, he would be able to change the constitution to pave the way to become president for life.