Sandinistas take control of the 153 municipalities of Nicaragua

MEXICO CITY (HPD) — Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) on Monday awarded control of the country’s 153 mayorships to the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), expanding President Daniel Ortega’s power at the municipal level as well. after the disputed elections on Sunday.

According to the second and last official report of the CSE, the Sandinistas won the municipal elections with 73.7% of the valid votes at the national level.

Earlier, in a first report, the electoral court had awarded the FSLN the victory in the first 112 counted municipalities, pending the scrutiny of the remaining 41.

Until today, the FSLN managed 141 mayoralties in Nicaragua. Now it extends its power to the 153 municipalities in the country, taking control of 11 that were in the hands of the Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC) and one of the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN), branded as “collaborators” by the opposition.

It has not been reported whether at least the PLC will be able to obtain councilors in some important places, such as Managua.

Vice President Rosario Murillo, Ortega’s wife, told official media that the elections confirmed “unity around peace and good, as the only way” for the Central American country, which has been mired in an acute political crisis for more than four years. years and with the majority of opponents imprisoned or exiled.

“We lived an exemplary, wonderful, formidable day, in which we confirmed our vocation for peace,” Murillo declared. “A day of harmony, of joy, of fraternity, an extraordinary day of democracy,” he said.

The elections were held to elect 153 mayors, 153 deputy mayors and more than 6,000 councilors. The FSLN already controlled 141 municipalities, after having occupied last July, through police action, five mayoralties that were in the hands of the opposition Citizens for Freedom (CxL) party, which was outlawed in 2021.

Ortega, 76, governed for the first time from 1985 to 1990 and returned to power in 2007, later re-electing himself three times in elections where the opposition denounced “fraud.” Since 2016 he co-governs with his wife, Vice President Murillo.

Sunday’s elections, from which three opposition parties were excluded, were held after new police raids in six departments of the country, according to the independent observatory Urnas Abiertas, which denounced more than 700 cases of “political violence”, such as sieges, coercion and the capture of 17 people from November 1 to 6.

According to that organization, not endorsed by the government, only 17.3 percent of the 3.7 million Nicaraguans eligible to vote participated in the voting, which shows an abstention rate of more than 82.6 percent. . The total population of Nicaragua is about 6.6 million inhabitants.

The president of the CSE, Brenda Rocha, said that the electoral process was “a civic and sovereign exercise” that concluded “successfully”, but did not give figures on citizen participation in the polls.

In a first evaluation of the day, Open Ballot Boxes pointed out that the elections were held “under absolute control” by the FSLN in the territories, where people were “surveilled by the ruling party from block to block” to force them to vote or to besiege them in case to be opponents.

According to the report, public employees were “pressured” to vote and in 63% of the polling stations observed “the installation of checkpoints” and surveillance by Sandinista political operators was verified, to find out who was going to vote. vote and who doesn’t.

In 42% of the voting centers observed, there were cases of people who were not found on the electoral roll, some of whom were “assaulted and expelled” from the precinct, while in 41% of the centers “political proselytism” was detected. ”since there were posters of the Sandinista party and electoral personnel dressed in party propaganda, indicated Urnas Abiertas.

Nicaragua is experiencing a serious political crisis that erupted with the social protests of April 2018, when the repression by police and paramilitaries left 355 dead, 2,000 injured, more than 1,600 detained at different times and 100,000 exiled, most of them refugees in Costa Rica. .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *