Ortega Wins Third Term and His Wife Will Serve as Vice President
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega was re-elected to his third term on Sunday. Roberto Rivas, the president of the Supreme Electoral Council said that Ortega had more than 71 percent of the votes with approximately a fifth of the ballots counted. His wife, Rosario Murillo, will serve as vice president. The team faced five other lesser-known candidates. His wife called the vote, “an exemplary, historic election.”
Reports stated that Ortega and his leftist Sandinista National Front have benefited from the Central American country’s steady economic growth as well as the low levels of violence (when compared to neighbors Honduras and El Salvador). It is also believed that the first lady’s social programs have helped popularize the governing party.
Critics accused the leader and his allies of manipulating the political system in order to guarantee he remain in power for a new five-year term. They say he wants to create a political dynasty together with his wife. Powerful opposition forces urged Nicaraguans to boycott the election. They called it a “farce.” Other Nicaraguans insinuated that the five other presidential candidates were not true opponents. Instead, they contended, they were placed on the ballot to make it seem that the re-elected president had legitimate competition.