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Nicaraguan general election, 2011


Nicaraguan general election, 2011

Nicaraguan presidential election, 2011

November 6, 2011 (2011-11-06)

Candidate Daniel Ortega Fabio Gadea Mantilla Arnoldo Alemán
Running mate Omar Halleslevens Edmundo Jarquín Francisco Aguirre Sacasa
Popular vote 1,569,287 778,889 148,507
Percentage 62.46% 31.00% 5.91%

President before election

Daniel Ortega


Daniel Ortega

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

Presidential and parliamentary elections were held in Nicaragua on 6 November 2011.[1] The incumbent president Daniel Ortega, won a third term in this election, with a landslide victory.


  • Background 1
  • Candidates 2
    • Alliance for the Republic (APRE) 2.1
    • Constitutionalist Liberal Party 2.2
    • Independent Liberal Party 2.3
    • Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance 2.4
    • Sandinista National Liberation Front 2.5
  • Contending parties and electoral alliances 3
    • Alliance for the Republic 3.1
    • Constitutionalist Liberal Party 3.2
    • Independent Liberal Party 3.3
    • Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance 3.4
    • Sandinista National Liberation Front 3.5
  • Polls 4
    • Presidential election 4.1
  • Controversy 5
  • Election 6
  • Reactions 7
  • References 8


The Sandinista National Liberation Front ((Spanish: Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional - FSLN) returned to power with Daniel Ortega as president in 2007 after losing the 1990 general elections to the National Opposition Union (UNO) and its candidate Violeta Barrios de Chamorro. This will be the third election (1984, 1990, 2011) that the Sandinista National Liberation Front contested an election being in power.

Although the Constitution forbids re-election, last year the Constitutional Court ruled that President Daniel Ortega could run again.

He faced Fabio Gadea Mantilla, who was collecting support from opposition forces both to the right and to the center-left of the national political spectrum including the Independent Liberal Party and the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS).

Another candidate was former President Arnoldo Alemán, supported by the traditional Constitutionalist Liberal Party (Spanish: Partido Liberal Constitucionalista - PLC). Alemán was convicted in 2003 for corruption and money laundering.[2]


Alliance for the Republic (APRE)

President: Enrique Bolaños. In an interview, García stated that God guided his acceptance of this candidacy and is assuring him he will win with the backing of a million votes.[3]

Vice-President: Elizabeth Rojas

Elizabeth Rojas is an evangelical pastor and the running mate of Miguel Angel García on the APRE ticket.

Constitutionalist Liberal Party

President: Arnoldo Alemán Arnoldo Alemán was President of Nicaragua from 1997 to 2002. In the early 1990s he became Mayor of Managua after serving for two months as a councillor in Managua. He was popular due to his urban renewal projects which helped spruce up the city, severely damaged and never rebuilt after a 1972 earthquake. Alemán was constitutionally barred from running for another term, and was succeeded by his vice president, Enrique Bolaños. Allegations emerged that Alemán was concealing massive corruption in his administration. At the end of his presidency, public information about alleged corruption committed under his government became available.[4][5]

Vice-President: Francisco Aguirre Sacasa Francisco Aguirre, national secretary of the Constitutionalist Liberal Party,[6] is the running mate of Arnoldo Alemán in the 2011 general election.

Independent Liberal Party

President: Fabio Gadea Mantilla Fabio Gadea Mantilla is a radio journalist, writer, and politician. He is owner and co-founder of the news radio station Radio Corporación. He also represents Nicaragua as deputy to the Central American Parliament and was President of that body in 2004–2005, as well as having been a member of its Commission of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology from 2007 onward.

Vice-President: Edmundo Jarquín Edmundo Jarquín was the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS) vice-presidential candidate in the 2006 general elections. He finished in fourth place, receiving 6.29% of the votes. Jarquín founded in 1974, together with Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal, editor of newspaper La Prensa, the Democratic Liberation Union (UDEL) in the struggle against the Anastasio Somoza Debayle regime. Jarquín was head of the Ministry of Foreign Cooperation between 1981-84 and ambassador to Mexico (1984-88) and to Spain (1988-1990). In the 1990 elections he gained a seat in the National Assembly. Jarquín worked as an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) official from 1992 to 2005 when he resigned and joined the MRS electoral alliance.[7]

Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance

President: Enrique Quiñonez

Vice-President: Diana Urbina

Sandinista National Liberation Front

President: Daniel Ortega Daniel Ortega, coordinator of the Junta of National Reconstruction (1979-1985), ascended to the presidency after the 1984 elections. Ortega, general secretary of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), was President of Nicaragua from 1985 to 1990 and presidential candidate of the FSLN in 1990, 1996, 2001 and 2006.[8] In the 2006 general elections, Ortega won with 37.99% of the votes. Daniel Ortega is pulling in first place in the polls.

Vice-President: Omar Halleslevens

Omar Halleslevens, a former Sandinista guerilla fighter, founder of the Sandinista Popular Army in 1979 and head of the armed forces between 2005 and 2010 is the vice-presidential candidate of the FSLN. In a poll conducted by M&R in 2009, Hallesleven was the second most popular public figure in the country, only behind Aminta Granera, the head of the National Police. In the same poll, 73.3% of the public regarded the National Army as the most trustworthy public institution in the country.[9]

Contending parties and electoral alliances

Alliance for the Republic

The Alliance for the Republic (Spanish: Alianza por la República - APRE) is formed by dissidents of the Constitutionalist Liberal Party and the Conservative Party (PC). In the 2006 general elections, APRE contested the elections in alliance with the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance.

Constitutionalist Liberal Party

The Constitutionalist Liberal Party (Spanish: Partido Liberal Constitucionalista - PLC) is leading the GANA PLC-PC alliance together with the members of the Conservative Party.

Independent Liberal Party

The Independent Liberal Party is leading the UNE alliance (Nicaraguan Unity for the Hope - Spanish: Unidad Nicaragüense por la Esperanza). The UNE is composed by the Sandinista Renovation Movement, the liberal Vamos con Eduardo and Liberales por un proyecto de nación movements, the Citizens Union for Democracy (an alliance of 14 local non-profits), a faction of the Nicaraguan Resistance Party, the Conservative Unity Movement (formed by dissidents of the Conservative Party) and the Alcaldes 9 de Noviembre movement (former allies of the Liberal Constitutionalist Party).[10]

Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance

The Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (Spanish: Alianza Liberal Nicaragüense - ALN) is formed by dissidents of the Constitutionalist Liberal Party and the Conservative Party (PC).

Sandinista National Liberation Front

After the break-up of the FSLN-Convergence alliance in 2005, the FSLN formed the United Nicaragua Triumphs alliance. The allied political forces of the FSLN are;

  1. ^ Electoral Calendar-international elections world elections
  2. ^ Lacey, Marc (29 December 2006). "World Briefing – Americas: Nicaragua: Ex-Leader To Fight For Seized Funds". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Revista Envío - The Five Slots on November’s Ballot
  4. ^ Lacey, Marc (29 December 2006). "Nicaragua: Ex-Leader To Fight For Seized Funds".  
  5. ^ Rohter, Larry; Forero, Juan (30 July 2005). "Unending Graft Is Threatening Latin America".  
  6. ^ Francisco Aguirre, nuevo secretario nacional del PLC
  7. ^ El Nuevo Diario - Managua, Nicaragua - Un feo antisomocista y antidanielista
  8. ^ El Nuevo Diario - Managua, Nicaragua - Un candidato perseverante
  9. ^ Nicaragua's political panorama going into November's presidential campaign
  10. ^ Gadea lanza Unidad Nicaragüense por la Esperanza
  11. ^ NicaNet > Nicaragua News Bulletin (February 1, 2011)
  12. ^ IKN: Nicaragua polling for the 2011 Presidential election
  13. ^ Encuesta de CID-Gallup favorece a Ortega con el 44%
  14. ^ Central American Politics: Ortega Extends Lead in Nicaragua
  15. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Nicaragua's Ortega poised to win third term - Americas - Al Jazeera English
  19. ^ Polls close in Nicaragua amid complaints - Americas - Al Jazeera English
  20. ^ "Nicaragua deaths in post-election violence", Al Jazeera English, 10 November 2011
  21. ^ Latin American Herald Tribune.
  22. ^ Univision.
  23. ^ Eurasia Review. 11/20/11
  24. ^ U.S. Cites "Significant Irregularities" in Nicaraguan Elections - Bloomberg
  25. ^ Nicaragua's Ortega wins third term - Americas - Al Jazeera English
  26. ^ "OEA ratifica triunfo de Daniel en Nicaragua", El 19 Digital, 15 November 2011
  27. ^ "UE: Es indudable que el Frente ha ganado las elecciones", El 19 Digital, 8 November 2011
  28. ^ Nicaragua's Ortega set to win third term - Americas - Al Jazeera English


Rosario Murillo, Ortega's wife and spokeswoman, said of the win that: "This is the victory of Christianity, socialism and solidarity;" she also repeated Ortega's campaign slogan - "Our promise is to keep building the common good."[28]

The head of accompanying mission of the European Union (EU), Luis Yáñez called the triumph of Daniel Ortega and the Sandinista Front in the Nicaraguan General Elections indubitable and ruled out any possibility of fraud during them.[27]

[26] The Positions Recognizing Results:

Gadea said that the result was allegedly plagued with vices and "that we suspect that we are in the presence of fraud of unprecedented proportions;" he also added that members of his party should await instructions as "the struggle continues."[25]

The United States coincided with European Union Observers "that the Supreme Electoral Council did not operate in a transparent and impartial manner,”. [24]

The European Union Electoral Observers stated that "the process was led by an electoral system that was not independent and that failed to fulfill its job of transparency and collaboration with all political parties."[23]

The Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua considered the election not to be transparent. [22]

Positions Not Recognizing Results: Local Electoral Observers such as the "Hagamos Democracia" and "Etica and Transparencia" have rejected the electoral results. [21]

To illustrate the disparity of opinions and statements, below are a series of deviating positions on the election:

Reactions have been diverse and not unified on the result of the election, both in Nicaragua and internationally.


 Summary of the 6 November 2011 Nicaraguan National Assembly election results
Parties Votes % Seats
Sandinista National Liberation Front (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional) 1,583,199 60.85 63*
Independent Liberal Party (Partido Liberal Independiente) 822,023 31.59 27*
Constitutionalist Liberal Party (Partido Liberal Constitucionalista) 167,639 6.44 2
Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (Alianza Liberal Nicaragüense ) 19,658 0.76
Alliance for the Republic (Alianza por la República) 9,317 0.36
Total votes 2,512,584 100.00 92
Source: CSE
* The runner-up in the presidential election (Fabio Gadea Mantilla of the PLI) and the outgoing president are special members of the National Assembly; as Ortega was reelected, the outgoing Vice President (Jaime Morales Carazo of the FSLN), who was not Ortega's running mate in this election (having been replaced by Omar Halleslevens, will take up his seat. (AFP)
  Summary of the 6 November 2011 Nicaraguan presidential election results
Candidates – Parties Votes %
Daniel OrtegaSandinista National Liberation Front 1,569,287 62.46
Fabio Gadea MantillaIndependent Liberal Party 778,889 31.00
Arnoldo AlemánConstitutionalist Liberal Party 148,507 5.91
Enrique QuiñonezNicaraguan Liberal Alliance 10,003 0.40
Miguel Angel GarcíaAlliance for the Republic 5,898 0.23
Total votes 2,512,584 100.00
Source: CSE

After 85.2% of the votes were counted, The Electoral Council said that Ortega had 62.69% of the vote and the Liberal Party's Fabio Gadea had 30.96%. They confirmed Ortega's victory on 8 November.[20]

After the polls closed, the Dante Caputo, said that its job was hindered in 10 of 52 polling stations and was "worrying. If we had trouble in 10 out of 52 polling stations, that means that in 20 per cent of the sample on which we normally base our assessment, we haven't been able to work as we normally do. That means that we can't say that things went appropriately in 100 per cent of the polling stations."[19]


The Supreme Court, which has a majority of Sandinista judges, overturned presidential term limits as set by the constitution. Critics said the move could set the stage for Ortega to have the presidency for life. Furthermore, with a commanding majority in the election he could also further constitutional changes to allow for his re-election indefinitely.[18]


Party Candidate June 2011[17]
  FSLN Daniel Ortega 56.5%
  PLI Fabio Gadea Mantilla 14.1%
  PLC Arnoldo Alemán 5.8%
  Other Other parties 1.2%
  N/A No answer 22.4%

M&R Consultores

Party Candidate August 2011[15] October 2011[16]
  FSLN Daniel Ortega 57.1% 59.6%
  PLI Fabio Gadea Mantilla 15.8% 15.0%
  PLC Arnoldo Alemán 7.3% 13.1%
  Other Other parties 1.7% 0.8%
  N/A No answer 18.1% 11.5%

Consultora Siglo Nuevo

  N/A No answer 24% 16% 10% 9%
  Other Other parties N/A 4% 1% 1%
  PLC Arnoldo Alemán 23% 14% 13% 10%
  PLI Fabio Gadea Mantilla 17% 28% 32% 34%
  FSLN Daniel Ortega 36% 38% 44% 46%
Party Candidate January 2011[11] May 2011[12] September 2011[13] October 2011[14]

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