The alliance led by the party of dictator Daniel Ortega won by an overwhelming majority the dispute for 153 mayors in Nicaragua, according to a report with partial results released this Monday (7). The victory, however, is contested by the opposition, which alleges farce.
The survey carried out by the CSE (Supreme Electoral Council) shows that the Nicaragua Triunfa alliance, led by the FSLN (Sandinista National Liberation Front), Ortega’s party, gained control of the 112 municipalities in which the results were released, including the capital of country, Managua.
“We have successfully completed a civic and sovereign exercise,” said CSE president Brenda Rocha, without specifying the level of voter participation. She presented the results at a conference held 12 hours after the close of voting, this Sunday (6). The independent observatory Urnas Abertas estimated that abstention was 82.7%, in a survey with an estimated confidence level of 95%.
The Sandinistas already controlled 141 of the 153 mayors in dispute, in addition to another three that were previously governed by the opposition and whose mayors were replaced by members of the FSLN.
Faced with the result, opposition leaders said the election will consolidate Ortega’s power, with almost complete control of local governments. Thousands of Nicaraguans over the age of 16 went to the polls to elect mayors, deputy mayors and councilors in the country’s 153 municipalities, in a process that the opposition bloc Unida Nacional Azul e Branco, with its leadership in exile, called a farce.
Originally left-wing, the FSLN participated in the election along with four right-wing parties, which the opposition calls “collaborators”, as well as an indigenous acronym for two regions of the Caribbean.
Ortega, who has led Nicaragua since 2007, won his fourth consecutive term last year amid a scenario in which his main rivals were arrested. Accused of authoritarianism and nepotism, the 76-year-old dictator said on Sunday that voters were “voting for peace”.
In the opinion of the dissident Sandinista and independent academic Oscar René Vargas, quoted by the AFP news agency, Ortega is trying to convince his detractors that he will remain in power, opening up the possibility of dialogue in the face of the crisis that the country has faced since the opposition protests in 2018. .
The dictatorship considers the movement to be a coup attempt with the support of the United States. More than 200 opponents remain in prison.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed “concern” about the allegations about the alleged arrest of at least eight people during the electoral process. Earlier, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights last week lamented “the lack of minimum conditions” to “hold free elections” in Nicaragua.
Nicaragua was a frequent subject in the race for the presidency of Brazil, with the current president, Jair Bolsonaro (PL), trying to associate opponent Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) with the regime.
In August, during the campaign, the current chief executive drew attention when he appeared with the word Nicaragua written in his hand during a hearing held by Jornal Nacional.
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