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President Daniel Ortega Wins Third Consecutive Term in Nicaragua

LADB Article ID: 80147
Category/Department: Nicaragua
Date: 2016-11-17
By: Benjamin Witte-Lebhar

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and the governing Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) cruised to victory in national elections that were as polemical as they were predictable. Against a field of five lesser known candidates, the long-serving leader and one-time Marxist revolutionary easily won his bid for reelection, drawing more than 72% of the votes cast Nov. 6, according to the Consejo Supremo Electoral (CSE), the country’s top electoral authority. Ortega’s closest challenger, former contra fighter Maximino Rodríguez of the conservative Partido Liberal Constitucionalista (Liberal Constitutionalist Party, PLC), received 15% of the vote. The other four candidates drew just 12% of the vote between them. The results give Ortega, 71, a third consecutive five-year presidential term and fourth overall, not including his tenure as head of the country’s post-revolutionary junta government (1979-1985). They also mean that his wife, Rosario Murillo, will replace former Army general Omar Halleslevens as vice president. Murillo will have a healthy dose of formal power to go along with the de facto authority she already wields as the regime’s spokesperson and unofficial Cabinet chief. Murillo will also be first in the line of succession to replace Ortega should he be unable, for health or other reasons, to complete his next term.

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