MANAGUA, Nicaragua, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has named Rosario Murillo, his wife, as his vice presidential running mate as he seeks a third term in the upcoming November elections.
First lady Murillo has a key role as Ortega's spokesman, appearing on national television almost daily to discuss government policy and her brand of New Age spirituality. She is considered to already be sharing power with her husband, who was been president since 2007.
The couple married in 1979 and have seven children. Murillo is a renowned poet who is fluent in English and French, and is known to wear extravagant, colorful outfits and jewelry.
"My commitment as head of state is to ensure peace and stability, and part of it is that this electoral process walk, I will walk in the best way I can," Ortega told reporters after filing candidacy papers in Nicaragua's Managua capital, adding that his government will support the "complex" election process that has "limited resources."
Critics fear Murillo as vice president could lead to a family dynasty in Nicaragua. Many Nicaraguans feel Murillo has more power than her husband because of her public profile.
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.