(article from last edition’s Nica Post)
Sunday, November 9, mayoral elections across Nicaragua will serve as an assessment of President Daniel Ortega’s first two years in office and the population’s confidence in the FSLN party as a whole.
by Megan Kimble
Across the country, 146 municipalities will vote for mayors representing either the governing party of Ortega, the National Sandinista Liberation Front (FSLN), for the Constitutional Liberal Party (PLC), or for various other factions.
The Managua mayoral election is the epicenter of this conflict, as FLSN candidate Alexis Arguello, a former world-class boxer and the vice-major of Managua from 2005-2007, attempts to keep incumbent party FLSN in power against PLC candidate Eduardo Montealegre, who ran for president candidate with the National Alliance (ALN) in 2006.
A victory by Montealegre, who leads in a poll conducted by Nuevo Diario, would end the decade of control the Sandinistas have enjoyed in Managua’s local government.
Break-off Sandinista party, Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS), was banned from election for legal reasons and called upon its constituents to vote for anybody except the FSLN and the “dictatorship” of Daniel Ortega. However, factions of the MRS have rejoined the FSLN, citing “disenchantment” with the dissident movement given its anti-government tone.
In politically active Leon, candidates are neck-and-neck in the polls. Conservative party, president Azalia Avilés announced his support of PLC candidate, Ariel Terán, saying that “Leon is threatened by the FSLN,” according to el Nuevo Diario.
Elsewhere in Northern Nicaragua, the election turned ugly the weekend of October 18, when two Sandinista candidates were murdered.
Erling Cruz, a Sandinista leader of the northern municipality of Terrabona, was allegedy shot by Edwin Bojorge, a member of the PLC. Cruz was reported to receive nine gun shots Sunday in Matagalpa after he had a verbal confrontation with Bojorge. Juan Robelto, the Sandinista candidate in the Caribbean municipality of El Rama was killed in El Toro the same weekend, by unknown assailants.
Sale of liquor has been prohibited two days prior and two days after the election on November 9.