Nicaragua’s leader ap­pears headed for re-elec­tion

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD -

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Pres­i­dent Daniel Ortega cast his bal­lot just be­fore polls closed in Nicaragua’s elec­tions Sun­day evening, and he ap­peared to have a clear path to a third con­sec­u­tive term — this time ac­com­pa­nied by his wife as vice pres­i­dent.

Opin­ion polls said the for­mer guer­rilla fighter was likely to re­ceive more than 50 per­cent of the votes and avoid a runoff. He was run­ning with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as his vice pres­i­den­tial can­di­date. “It is an ex­em­plary, his­toric elec­tion,” Murillo said while crit­ics of the gov­ern­ment called the vote un­fairly tilted against the op­po­si­tion.

Ortega and his left­ist San­din­ista Na­tional Lib­er­a­tion Front have ben­e­fited from the Cen­tral Amer­i­can coun­try’s steady eco­nomic growth and low lev­els of violence com­pared to neigh­bor­ing Hon­duras and El Sal­vador.

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