Ortega seeks to extend mandate in disputed elections in Nicaragua

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Nicaraguans went out to vote this Sunday (7) in a general election widely questioned by the international community and which, most likely, will end with the triumph of the current president, Daniel Ortega, who would extend his term at least until January 2027.

After arresting some 30 opponents, including seven presidential candidates, Ortega paved the way for a fourth consecutive term and extended his trajectory as the longest-serving president on the American continent.

Five candidates compete against Ortega and his wife and vice president, Rosario Murillo. However, analysts and opponents believe they indulged in what they called an electoral “farce”. The same happens with the Congress –controlled by the ruling party– which will also be renewed.

Election day, for which nearly 4.5 million Nicaraguans are registered, started early and will end at 6:00 pm (local time).

Reuters witnesses witnessed lines of citizens to vote. However, opposition groups shared images of empty streets and polling centers on social media.

“Daniel Ortega will claim a fourth consecutive presidential term on Sunday under widely discredited elections. His victory will only have been possible by arresting his competitors,” said Jason Marczak of the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based NGO.

“More instability and repression will unleash a new wave of migration, both south and north of the US border. The question is not what will happen on November 7th, but how strongly the United States and other democracies will respond on November 8th,” he added.

During the week, the government of President Joe Biden said it was willing to impose further sanctions against the government of Ortega and Murillo. In addition, Washington initiated a review of Nicaragua’s participation in a free trade agreement with Central America.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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