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Sandinistas Dominate Local Elections in Nicaragua

ISSN:1089-1560
LADB Article ID: 80464
Category/Department: Nicaragua
Date: 2017-11-30
By: Benjamin Witte-Lebhar

Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega and the governing Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) added to their more than decade-long winning streak with a near-sweep in nationwide municipal elections. The contests––held Nov. 5 and tepidly approved by observers from the Organization of American States (OAS)––tightened the Ortega regime’s already meaty grip on the country but also prompted a handful of confrontations that left several people dead. Overall, the Sandinistas won 135 of the nation’s 153 municipalities, including all 15 departmental capitals plus Bilwi (Puerto Cabezas) and Bluefields, the main cities in the Región Autónoma de la Costa Caribe Norte (North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region, RACCN) and the Región Autónoma de la Costa Caribe Sur, (South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region, RACCS) respectively, according to the Consejo Supremo Electoral (CSE), Nicaragua’s electoral authority. The CSE published its final results on Nov. 20 after dismissing opposition challenges in seven municipalities. Bilwi and Bluefields had been governed by the Caribbean indigenous party Yapti Tasba Masraka Nanih Aslatakanka (YATAMA), which also lost control of Prinzapolka, in the RACCN, and is widely seen as the election’s biggest loser.

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