The Risks of Re-Election Fever in Latin America

Political posters of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President-elect Rosario Murillo, on a building in Managua, Nicaragua, Nov. 7. 2016 (AP photo by Esteban Felix)
Political posters of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President-elect Rosario Murillo, on a building in Managua, Nicaragua, Nov. 7. 2016 (AP photo by Esteban Felix)
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On Nov. 6, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega of the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front, or FSLN, was re-elected to a third consecutive term, his fourth overall since 1984. There was little doubt about the outcome of the election given his overwhelming popularity and the lack of any viable opposition. Though Nicaragua’s characteristically high voter turnout was down to 68 percent, Ortega won 72 percent of the vote. But Ortega’s route to re-election has not been without controversy. Critics point to the erosion of democratic institutions and principles over his past two administrations. In 2010, the country’s Supreme Court cleared the […]

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