Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega wins third consecutive term

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   Nov. 7, 2016 at 8:56 AM
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MANAGUA, Nicaragua, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has won a third consecutive term in office after gaining an irreversible lead with more than two-thirds of votes counted, electoral authorities said.

Nicaragua's Supreme Electoral Council on Monday said that with 66.3 percent of votes counted in an election in which 65.8 percent of the electorate participated, Ortega and his running mate, his wife Rosario Murillo, had 72 percent of votes, compared to the 14.2 percent earned by his closest rival, Maximino Rodriguez.

Polls ahead of the election predicted Ortega, who has been president since 2007, would win, El País reported. Opposition politicians previously said the elections were "fraudulent." International observers were not allowed to monitor the election.

Though Nicaragua's Constitution set one-term limits, a court decision allowed Ortega to run for re-election in 2011. A constitutional amendment was later created allowing unlimited presidential terms.

Main opposition candidates were previously banned from running by Nicaragua's Supreme Court, which has been accused of working to serve Ortega's interests. The Supreme Court banned several opposition leaders from heading opposition parties, which disheveled the opposition and led Nicaragua's Parliament to be ruled entirely by Ortega's party and its allies.

Ortega formed part of a government junta following the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua that overthrew the dictatorship of the Somoza family, which ruled for four decades.

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