Daniel Ortega Will Run for President of Nicaragua for Seventh Time

Daniel Ortega
The National Sandinista Congress elected Daniel Ortega, unanimously, as their presidential candidate. (Radio Nicaragua)

EspañolThe Sandinista National Liberation Front (in Spanish: Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional, FSLN) of Nicaragua confirmed President Daniel Ortega as the party’s presidential candidate for the upcoming elections. The Nicaraguan elections will take place on November 6 and will define the presidency for the next five years.

This is the seventh time that the FSLN, a left-wing party established in 1961, nominates Ortega as its presidential candidate. If elected, Nicaragua will be facing Ortega’s fourth term in power.

At least a thousand delegates of the FSLN voted for Ortega during the party’s National Congress, held this past Saturday in Managua. The Congress was also held to honor the 37th anniversary of the call to arms for the Final Attack (La “Ofensiva Final”), which stretched out into weeks of battles to finally bring victory to the Sandinista Popular Revolution (Revolución Popular Sandinista) on July 19, 1979, effectively ending the Somoza family’s dictatorship, which lasted for more than four decades.

According to the Sandinistas, their election of Ortega as their presidential candidate acknowledges the “difficulties and challenges” he faced and the “victories” which he obtained during his mandate.

Ortega’s election aims to “keep guiding our country, with God’s and the people’s favor, through the paths of prosperity, victory, and blessings.” The Sandinistas also want to “maintain the international alliances that guarantee a model of reconciliation, unity, common good, and prosperity, for a Christian, socialist, and public-spirited Nicaragua.” The official text also allows Ortega to freely choose his own vice-presidential running mate.

Ortega was the presidential candidate for the Sandinista Front in 1984, 1990, 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2011. His candidacy in 2016 marks the seventh time he runs for president. Ortega won the elections in 1985 (for the 1985-1990 term), 2006 (2006-2011), and again in 2011. His current term ends this year with the November elections. In 2011, he was reelected with 62.45% of the vote.

In November, the Nicaraguan people will vote to elect their president and vice president as well as 90 congressmen and 20 members of the Central American Parlament (Parlamento Centroamericano, PARLACEN).

“We’re done with international observation”

In his speech to the FSLN Congress, Ortega slammed the door shut on the possibility of allowing independent international observers to oversee the Nicaraguan elections in November.

“Scoundrel observers. Let them go observe other countries. Here, we are done with international observation,”

Ortega also attacked diplomats. He said that he expects “less noise” from the November elections than in those recently held in other countries, where candidates had to retire from at the last minute. Apparently, he was referring to Sandra Torres, the former first lady of Guatemala, whose 2011 presidential candidacy was blocked by Guatemala’s judicial branch.

“No observers, not the European Union, nor the OAS, are expected to present themselves… They know that in Nicaragua they face a People of antiimperialist vocation,” says Ortega.


— Eduardo Montealegre (@emontealegrer) June 5, 2016

Opposition leader Eduardo Montealegre, president of the Independent Liberal Party (Partido Liberal Independiente, PLI), wrote on his Twitter account that the “Election Law establishes electoral observation. Thus, Ortega asks (demands) that the Supreme Electoral Council (Consejo Supremo Electoral, CSE) break the law. Outright disobedience,” he wrote.

Source: Confidencial, La Prensa

Translated by Jaime Henriquez Fattoni.

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