Nicaragua: Daniel Ortega for re-election in November

The Sandinista leader said he will not invite international observers to witness the vote because he considers that a form of intervention.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has been elected by the Sandinista National Liberation Front, or FSLN, as its candidate to run in the November 6 presidential elections.

The decision was announced last night at the party headquarters in the capital of Managua and was backed unanimously by the 1,910 delegates.

Delegates loudly applauded Ortega, who said he’s not interested in having international observers during the elections, as he consider them “interventionists ambassadors.”

“Scoundrel observers, observation is over here, you can go and observe your own countries,” Ortega said.

This is the seventh time that Ortega will be candidate of the FSLN. The first time was in 1984 when he was elected president. He ruled six years in his first term before losing in the 1990 election. He returned to power in 2007 and won again in 2011.
Ortega’s main opponent in this election is Luis Callejas, a doctor who supported the anti-Sandinista Contras during the U.S.-stoked civil war of the 1980s.

The socialist leader has broad popular support, with recent polls showing he has the support of 64 percent of voters. In the 2011 election the former Sandinista guerrilla was re-elected with 63 percent of the vote.

Under Ortega’s government, Nicaragua has become one of the safest countries in the Americas, with a murder rate lower than that of neighboring Costa Rica, with the president’s popularity buoyed by strong economic growth.

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