“TO every home and every Nicaraguan family, our unwavering commitment to continue changing Nicaragua... cultivating and harvesting victories that allow us to strengthen community life, and advance step by step, eradicating poverty and promoting welfare and rights,” read the closing message of the Sandinista National Liberation Front’s (FSLN) electoral campaign.
November 6 is Election Day in Nicaragua. Comandante Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, coordinator of the governmental Communication and Citizenship Council, are the candidates for the presidency and vice presidency of the country, respectively, for the current ruling party, the FSLN.
On this occasion, Ortega is seeking reelection for a third consecutive term, and his fourth term in the history of the Central American nation, which according to the latest poll by M&R Consultores appears likely, with both candidates of the left wing party enjoying 69.8% of voting intention.
The same survey revealed that 65.2% of Nicaraguans support the FSLN against other political parties participating in the election.
According to the “Libro Blanco Proceso Electoral 2016”(2016 Electoral Process White Paper), 16 political parties, 11 from the national electoral districts and five from the autonomous regions of the Nicaraguan Caribbean, will participate in these elections.
The Nicaragua United will Triumph Alliance, led by the FSLN, is committed to continuing the achievements of President Ortega, who has ensured a better quality of life for the vast majority of the Nicaraguan people over the last ten years.
Among these advances is a reduction in poverty, which fell from 42.5% to 29.6%, according to a survey by the National Information and Development Institute (INIDE), which also demonstrated that the economic development of the Central American country has been sustained (4.5%), to become one of the fastest growing Central American countries.
In addition, Comandante Daniel Ortega has been implementing his 2016 Good Governance Plan, under the slogan “Working together like a huge family”, which promotes and strengthens measures in all areas of society, including health, education, tourism, and the economy.
Meanwhile, the Independent Liberal Party (PLI) has pledged to combat corruption and waste, eradicate extreme poverty, ensure food security and increase productive employment. The party’s candidate is José del Carmen Alvarado, a dentist devoted to agriculture and livestock.
The Constitutionalist Liberal Party (PLC) has Maximino Rodríguez on its slate for President, a Nicaraguan politician who served as a deputy between 1996 and 2011. Under the slogan “United for Change”, the PLC plan through 2021 seeks a socially just, inclusive, economically strong and politically stable Nicaragua.
For its part, the Alliance for the Republic (APRE) states that its only commitment is “to unify efforts, strengths and capabilities to create a more just, inclusive, depoliticized, and participative society, to restore the rule of law and respect for the Constitution and Laws.” Its presidential candidate is Carlos Canales.
Another force, the Democratic Unity alliance, is formed by the Conservative Party (oldest Nicaraguan party), the Social Christian Party, and independents, seeking “a Republic for all” with basic foods accessible to the people, quality education, and transparent government. Their candidate is the young Erick Cabezas, a lawyer and notary public.
Finally, the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance has outlined its plans for comprehensive and quality education, investment, social security and care for women and youth; with former priest Saturnino Cerrato as its candidate.
More than 3 million Nicaraguans are eligible to vote in these elections, where in addition to choosing a President for the next five years, they will elect 90 national deputies and 20 deputies to the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN).
The president is elected by an absolute or relative majority with at least 45% of valid votes, or 35%, should he manage to beat the other candidates by a minimum difference of 5%.
While we must wait until Sunday for the final results, it is already clear from the latest polls who is set to win: Daniel Ortega.