Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega was re-elected on Sunday for a fourth five-year term with 75.92% of the vote, according to almost final results covering 97.74% of the ballots, according to official results made public, Monday, November 8, by the Supreme Electoral Council.
“We receive these votes with humility and an enormous sense of responsibility”, reacted Rosario Murillo, the wife of Mr. Ortega, reelected to the post of vice-president. These elections, for which no foreign observers had been authorized, were “sovereign”added M.me Murillo.
At the time of the publication of the official partial results covering 49% of the polling stations, the electoral tribunal had given a participation rate of 65.34%. An observatory close to the opposition, Urnas abiertas, gave him an abstention rate of 81.5% based on data from 1,450 unauthorized observers present in 563 polling stations.
Only the turnout could give an idea of the real adhesion of Nicaraguans to the “ticket” formed by Daniel Ortega, 75, and his wife Rosario Murillo, 70, vice-president since 2017. since 2018 on the opponents of the president deprives these elections of all credibility.
Ortega denounces a fascist Europe
The election took place “without democratic guarantees” and completes the swing of this country into a “autocratic regime”said the head of diplomacy of the European Union (EU), Josep Borrell.
Faced with these criticisms, Daniel Ortega violently attacked Spain and the EU. “European governments, where even fascist parties govern. The descendants of the Franco regime who massacred and murdered the Spanish people. They are the sons of [Francisco] Franco who remained there still occupying spaces of power”said Mr. Ortega.
“Brotherhood with [Adolf] Hitler, Hitler’s little brothers, are in power and now they want to form an international of fascism, here in our America, the leaders of these Spanish fascist parties”, he added. For Mr. Ortega, “what is now called the European Union, has a majority of fascist, Nazi parliamentarians (…) In the European Parliament, the majority are fascists”he insisted.
“Comedy elections” for Washington
The United States also strongly denounced the ballot. “What the President of Nicaragua and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, orchestrated today was a pantomime election that was neither free nor fair, and certainly not democratic”said Mr. Biden, quoted in a statement from the White House on “comedy elections in Nicaragua”.
“We will continue to use diplomacy, coordinated measures with our allies and regional partners, sanctions and visa restrictions” so that “the accomplices of the undemocratic acts of the Ortega-Murillo government are held to account”said the head of the american diplomacy, Antony Blinken, in a press release.
The American president is preparing to promulgate an arsenal of even harsher sanctions enacted by the RENACER law, recently approved by the American Congress. The General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) put the situation in Nicaragua on its agenda this week and may decide to suspend Managua’s membership.
Russia on the contrary denounced the call of the United States and other countries not to recognize the election which took place, according to Moscow, “in accordance with the law”. Mr. Ortega also received congratulations from his allies, Cuba, Bolivia and Venezuela. On Monday evening, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called “cowards” the governments that criticized Sunday’s election and underlined “the impressive victory” of his Nicaraguan counterpart.
“Imperialism and its crawling allies in Europe are pointing the finger at Nicaragua, but there are people who love Nicaragua, there are people who defend Nicaragua”he said in a televised address, announcing his intention to visit the Central American country soon.
Door-to-door to mobilize voters
The streets were almost deserted on Sunday in Managua, the capital of this country of 6.5 million inhabitants, the poorest in the region. Fearing a low turnout, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN, former guerrilla in power) organized door-to-door tours during the day to mobilize voters.
After casting his ballot in the ballot box, President Ortega accused his opponents of being “demons (…) who choose violence, denigration, slander, campaigns so that Nicaragua is again in the grip of violent confrontations, of war”. The candidates arrested “conspired, they did not want these elections to take place because they have long since sold their souls to the empire [nord-américain] and live on their knees demanding aggression against Nicaragua”he justified.
Journalists from several international media, including CNN and the washington post, were denied access to the territory, and the government refused the presence of independent observers. The authorities, however, accredited on Saturday around 200 “electoral guides” and hand-picked journalists, “Sandinista activists” foreigners, according to Urnas Abiertas, an independent observatory.
“Stay at home”
Decapitated, its leaders in detention or in exile, the opposition organized a demonstration of about a thousand people in San José, the capital of Costa Rica where more than 100,000 Nicaraguans took refuge. Opponents had only one watchword for voters: “Stay home. »
The five candidates registered to face the head of state are considered by the opposition as stooges compromised with power. According to a CID Gallup poll, had they had the choice, 65% of the 4.4 million registered voters would have voted for an opposition candidate, against 19% for the incumbent president.
“It’s horrible: we can’t talk, otherwise we’ll put you in prison. Why would I vote? Only the Sandinistas will vote”, denounced José, 78, who has supported the FSLN for decades. Conversely, Marina Aguirre, 36, was determined to vote: “We have free schools and hospitals (…). [Daniel Ortega] makes sure every child has toys every year. »
Three years after the repression which left more than 300 dead among the demonstrators who demanded the resignation of Daniel Ortega in the spring of 2018, and six months before the election, the hunt for opponents raged: 39 politicians, businessmen, peasants, students and journalists have been arrested since June. Among them: the seven possible candidates likely to pose a threat to the outgoing president. Favorite of the opposition in the polls, Cristiana Chamorro, 67, daughter of ex-president Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (1990-1997), was the first arrested on June 2 and placed in house arrest.
Opponents are accused of undermining national sovereignty, supporting international sanctions against Nicaragua, “betrayal of the fatherland” or of “money laundering”under laws passed at the end of 2020 by Parliament, acquired by the executive, as well as the judiciary and the electoral tribunal.
Hero of the revolution, the former guerrilla Daniel Ortega is today accused by his opponents of acting in the same way as the dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle, which he helped overthrow in 1979.