Weekly Report - 10 November 2016 (WR-16-44)

NICARAGUA: Ortega sweeps to victory

President Daniel Ortega claimed another landslide victory in general elections on 6 November – his third consecutive election and fourth presidential term. Ortega’s Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) also consolidated existing control of the 92-member legislature. However, the opposition once again slammed the electoral process itself given the FSLN’s control of the electoral authorities (CSE) among other state institutions. Having flagged up rulings earlier in the year against the main opposition Partido Liberal Independiente (PLI) [WR-16-30] and Ortega’s refusal to authorise reputable international observers to oversee the vote, the opposition and civil-society groups are now pointing to “massive abstention” as the latest sign of the flawed process. While the Ortega government’s economic management has been a key factor in his enduring popularity, the threat of US action in response to these latest democratic concerns points to one of various possible clouds looming over the FSLN’s next term.

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