Nicaraguan President seeks another term with wife as VP
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is widely expected to win his fourth term in elections on Sunday — this time with his wife as his running mate.
First lady Rosario Murillo has long been the country’s unofficial co-president, effectively running the government, analysts of Nicaraguan politics say.
In August, when the couple made their ticket official, Ortega said she was the best running mate he could choose: “Who better (to be vice president) than my companera, who has so far done an efficient and effective job with much discipline and sacrifice.”
The move by Ortega, a socialist and former guerrilla leader, is not without controversy as critics have accused the couple of skirting laws while building a political dynasty.
Nicaragua’s Constitution bars candidates who are relatives of the current President from running, however the Supreme Court of Nicaragua has said there was no legal impediment for the Ortega-Murillo ticket.
“It makes no sense,” said Eliseo Nunez, a former opposition lawmaker, maintaining that the Ortega-Murillo ticket clearly violates the Constitution. “It’s like saying: My brother-in-law can’t run because he is related to my wife, but my wife can run.”
Adding Murillo to the ticket is a way for Ortega, who will be 71 in a week, to ensure a political succession plan, said Michael Allison, a political scientist with the University of Scranton.
“Daniel and Rosario have been consolidating power for over 10 years,” he said. Despite cries of foul by opposition, Ortega has strong support in the country, Allison added.
The US says it is “deeply concerned” about the electoral process in Nicaragua a day after Daniel Ortega, the left-wing leader, won a third consecutive presidential term.
A State Department spokesman said the election process was flawed and could not be seen as free and fair.
He said the Ortega government had side-lined opposition candidates and limited monitoring of the polls.
Daniel Ortega won 72.5% of the vote with 99.8% of the ballots counted.
His closest rival, centre-right candidate Maximino Rodriguez, only received 14.2% of the vote.
The State Department’s Mark Toner said the Ortega government had not invited international election observers, which he said, “further degraded the legitimacy of the election”.
“We continue to press the Nicaraguan government to uphold democratic practices, including press freedom and respect for universal human rights in Nicaragua,” he added.
Mr Ortega had been widely expected to win both due to the popularity of his social programmes and because he faced no obvious political challenger.
A former left-wing rebel, Mr Ortega has led Nicaragua through a period of economic stability which has made him popular with the country’s business sector and foreign investors.
the usa is not happy..i can draw a small comparison with todays election eh? 🙂
“First lady Rosario Murillo has long been the country’s unofficial co-president, effectively running the government, analysts of Nicaraguan politics say.”