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Nicaragua: FSLN-led Alianza Nicaragua Triunfa wins; Daniel Ortega re-elected in landslide (+ audio interview)

On November 12, Toni Solo from Nicaragua spoke to Latin Radical's Warwick Fry about the landslide electoral victory for the Alianza Nicaragua Triunfa and Daniel Ortega.

Part 1

Part 2.

By Toni Solo

November 7, 2011 -- Tortilla con Sal -- No one should underestimate the epoch-making election result in Nicaragua for the Sandinista-led Alianza Nicaragua Triunfa and its candidate Daniel Ortega. The result marks a return to levels of support for the Sandinista popular revolution last seen in Nicaragua's first ever democratic election in 1984. The Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional (FSLN, Sandinista National Liberation Front) and its allies have won more than 60% of the national vote. It is no surprise that the anti-democratic right-wing parties refuse to accept their crushing defeat.

This is a categorical reversal of a consistent voting pattern over 20 years, first established in the historic elections of 1990. Since those elections, the combined vote of the Nicaraguan right-wing parties has always outnumbered the electoral support for the FSLN.

This reality forced the FSLN into alliances and negotiations with right-wing parties and engendered the FSLN's strategy of dividing the opposition that paid off in 2006.

Now, thanks to successful internationally recognised economic and social policies, the FSLN vote outnumbers the combined electoral support of the Nicaraguan right wing.

Not only has Ortega been re-elected president with a massive popular mandate, the FSLN and its allies will also have a decisive majority in the country's legislature, the National Assembly.

This will mean an end to the regular crisis-inducing legislative boycotts by opposition parties that seriously limited Ortega's government between 2007 and the present. It will also allow for possible constitutional reforms.

Except for the European Union electoral team, all foreign and national teams monitoring the electoral process in Nicaragua have formally reported favourably on the elections and the voting process.

Organization of American States secretary general Jose Miguel Insulza recognised the overwhelmingly peaceful and orderly conduct of the vote and the huge participation of Nicaragua's population in the elections. Adverse reaction to the results from the losing right-wing parties flies in the face of the opinion of hundreds of foreign specialists who accompanied the electoral process.

All the right-wing parties that took part did badly. The tiny ALN and APRE alliances failed to get more than a fraction of 1% of the vote. The PLI-MRS Alliance won about 30%.

As the PLI-MRS and its media and non-government organisation allies said they would do if the PLI-MRS were to lose, they have rejected the election result as fraudulent. Arnoldo Aleman, whose PLC political alliance has come a distant third, with less than 10% of the vote, has also said his party does not accept the result.

The right-wing parties’ cynical dishonesty may have worked in the wake of the less important 2008 municipal elections. But the overwhelming landslide victory by the FSLN in this vitally important national electoral process renders futile the right-wing losers’ claims of fraud.

Likewise, the result leaves supposedly left-wing critics of the FSLN and Ortega, like Monica Baltodano and Henry Ruiz, completely discredited — only ill-informed foreign opinion takes them seriously.

Hundreds of thousands of Sandinista supporters celebrated the re-election of Ortega throughout the country.

Leaders of the losing right-wing parties huff-and-puff about refusing to accept the election result. They are clearly in a minority. If they attempt to resort to violence, they are likely to condemn themselves to political irrelevance for a generation. The new Sandinista majority in Nicaragua will never forgive them.

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