Nicaraguan elections: why the Sandinistas won so overwhelmingly

NSCAG News | on: Sunday, 27 November 2011

From the 62 FSLN MPs, 33 are women. Source:

From the 62 FSLN MPs, 33 are women. Source:

Elections took place in Nicaragua on 6 November for the presidency, National Assembly and Nicaraguan members of the Central American parliament. The result was a landslide victory for the Sandinistas with over 60 per cent of the vote in both presidential and National Assembly elections.

What were the results of the presidential elections? FSLN-led “United Nicaragua Will triumph” Alliance: Daniel Ortega 62.46%; PLC (Constitutionalist Liberal Party Alliance): Arnoldo Alemán 5.91%; PLI (Independent Liberal Party Alliance): Fabio Gadea 31%

What were the results of the National Assembly elections? These followed a similar pattern to those for the presidency. This means that the FSLN will have 62 seats, the PLI alliance 26, and the PLC two. The FSLN will have sufficient seats to pass legislation including changes to the constitution without support from other parties.

What was the turn out? The head of the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) Roberto Rivas announced that the voter turnout was between 78% and 80%. This reflects the political awareness of Nicaraguans, the huge number of young people who voted for the first time, and the value Nicaraguans place on the significance of their votes. As blogger John Perry explains, ‘Voting is seen as a patriotic duty and not to vote is shameful.’

Why did the Sandinistas win so convincingly? Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Americas after Haiti which means that around 50% of the population live in poverty. Economic stability and extensive social programmes have had a widespread impact on those excluded and ignored by previous governments. It is logical that over 60% of the electorate should have voted for a party that has succeeded in improving their lives.

Read the full briefing at: Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign website

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