Ortega Is Leaving Nothing to Chance in Nicaragua’s Election Farce

Ortega Is Leaving Nothing to Chance in Nicaragua’s Election Farce
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, lead a rally in Managua, Nicaragua, Sept. 5, 2018 (AP file photo by Alfredo Zuniga).

On Nov. 7, a presidential election will be stolen. One week from this Sunday, the profoundly unpopular Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, will declare themselves the winners after one of the most grotesque reelection campaigns in recent memory.

We know they will win, among other reasons, because they have imprisoned all the other candidates who sought to challenge them at the polls. Ortega and Murillo might have won without resorting to such a blunt instrument of tyranny, because they had already used their somewhat less blunt anti-democratic instruments to dismantle the checks and balances that would have allowed anything like a fair election. But they chose to strangle the life out of any effort to remove them by democratic means by concocting phony charges against the opposition candidates—most were charged with treason—clearing the way for an election that everyone in Nicaragua knows is a farce.

The Ortegas’ assault on democracy—as well as their mishandling of the pandemic, their brutality against protesters and myriad other violations—have put them in a position where, according to all the reliable polling data, a free election would result in a wholesale repudiation of their rule.

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