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Wednesday, August 30, 2006
By Steven L. Taylor

Via Reuters: Sandinistas lead Nicaraguan election

Ortega, who headed the socialist Sandinista government in the 1980s, had the support of 29 percent of those surveyed, according to a poll by Cid-Gallup.

Twenty-three percent said they backed conservative banker and former Foreign Minister Eduardo Montealegre.

A June Cid-Gallip poll also gave Ortega a six-point lead.

[...]

Voters will choose a president on November 5. Nicaraguan elections include a run-off unless one candidate receives 40 percent of the vote or 35 percent with at least a five-point lead over his nearest rival.

Given the run-off provision, the six-point lead doesn’t mean all that much.  I don’t know enough at this point about the other third-plus of the voters not captured in the above polling numbers to say whether Ortega would even have a shot at a run-off.  His recent attempts at re-gaining office would suggest that he does not.

This one is worth watching if anything for the nostalgia of it all (the FSLN and Ortega were of great significance during my undergraduate days studying Latin America).  In terms of contemporary politics, there is a Chavez connection, as Hugo is helping Ortega in his bid to return to the presidency.

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One Response to “A Comeback for Ortega?”

  1. Matthew Shugart Says:

    I don’t see Ortega as having much chance. He is unlikely to make it to 40%. He might make 35%, but I would expect it to be closer than 35-30 in that case. (It would almost have to be.)

    The other main candidate is Jarquin, the successor to the deceased candidate of the MRS, Lewites. Given that the MRS is a split from the Sandinistas, and that it split because its members saw Ortega for what he is–a petty dictator who hijacked the Sandinista movement for personal gain–I highly doubt that many of their voters would prefer Ortega over Montealegre. Most likely they would sit out the runoff, which would be good enough for Mr. Happy Mountain.

    boz has a slightly different take from mine.


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