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Ortega wins landslide re-election

Tuesday, November 08, 2011 - 02:16

Nov 8 -Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega cruises to a landslide re-election victory. Marie-Claire Fennessy reports

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Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is re-elected in a landslide victory. The socialist former guerilla leader had 62.7 percent of the vote in returns from 86 percent of pollings stations. This was twice the tally his closest rival, Fabio Gadea received. However, the Supreme Electoral Council noted votes from 16 polling stations could not be counted. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SUPREME ELECTORAL COUNCIL PRESIDENT ROBERTO RIVAS, SAYING: "We won't know the results from 16 polling booths because election material was burnt by activists from the Liberal Independent Party. I would like to emphasize this is an open and clear violation of human rights for Nicaraguan citizens who were not able to express themselves due to this vandalic attitude." Gadea refused to accept the results. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ORTEGA'S CLOSEST RIVAL, CONSERVATIVE RADIO PERSONALITY FABIO GADEA, SAYING: "We can't accept the results presented by the Supreme Electoral Council because they don't express the will of the people nor the will of the electoral council." International election observers said voting irregularities had not changed the final outcome. And on the streets of Managua, it was a celebratory mood. The huge victory margin is a personal triumph for Ortega who was long a divisive figure. Though he was popular among supporters of his party. Many distrusted him and he was despised by business leaders due to the economic chaos in his first term as president in the 1980s. Now, it is a different story. He has overseen economic improvements and pushed policies aimed at combating poverty. However, opponents say he bent the rules to get re-elected. In 2009, a ban on consecutive terms was overturned, causing some to worry Ortega had plans to further extend his rule, just as Hugo Chavez has in Venezuela. Marie-Claire Fennessy, Reuters

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Ortega wins landslide re-election

Tuesday, November 08, 2011 - 02:16