The victory of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, re-elected without surprise, Sunday, November 7, in a ballot without competition, was greeted by an almost unanimous condemnation of the international community. The former Sandinista guerrilla and his wife, Rosario Murillo, vice-president, officially won the presidential ballot with 74.9% of the vote. A result rejected en bloc by the opposition which denounces a “Electoral farce”, after the arrest of seven declared candidates.
On Sunday, the 3,106 polling stations were almost deserted in this small Central American country (6.6 million inhabitants), governed by Mr. Ortega from 1979 to 1990 and from 2007 to today. The Supreme Electoral Council (CSE), however, announced, late at night, a participation of more than 65% of 4.4 million voters, after counting half of the ballots. According to the CSE, subject to the regime, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN, in power) will also retain the majority of the 90 deputy seats at stake on Sunday. Figures disputed by the 1,450 unofficial observers, mobilized in 353 polling stations by the non-governmental organization Urnas Abiertas. The observatory assures that participation has capped at 18.5% on average in the territory, confirming that most Nicaraguans have responded to the call for a « abstention massive », launched by the opposition.
“The citizens have expressed their rejection of the dictatorship”, assured, Monday, a statement from the Blue White National Unit (UNAB), which federates part of the protest movements, born in April 2018 of an unprecedented and peaceful revolt demanding the departure of the presidential couple. At the time, the brutal crackdown on demonstrators left 328 people dead, pushing more than 100,000 Nicaraguans into exile, most of them in neighboring Costa Rica. The vote of several freedom-killing laws, at the end of 2020, by the deputies of the FSLN, led to the arrest, this summer, of seven contenders of the opposition to the presidential election, and to the exile of two others, prevented from applying. All are accused of “Betrayal to the fatherland” or “money laundering”, as well as thirty-two other opponents, journalists or big bosses, also imprisoned since. Not to mention that the CSE canceled, a few months before the elections, the legal existence of the three opposition parties, leaving only five small political parties, satellites of the regime, in the running.
Election « pantomime »
According to the few independent media, the FSLN organized tours on Sunday to mobilize voters, while a poll, published in mid-October by the CID-Gallup institute, revealed that only 19% of them would vote for M. Ortega. Information ignored by television channels, linked to the regime, preferring to cover the vote of Mr. Ortega, soon 76 years old, and Mr.me Murillo, 70, in the center of Managua, to the applause of their supporters.
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In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega isolated after a poll denounced as a “farce”