Tuesday, November 8

Ortega loses! (Wait a second…)

By Margaret McCarthy  This headline should make you look twice for two reasons. The first, of course, being that President Ortega did not actually lose the Nicaraguan elections last Sunday. He won his third term as president by a landslide, according to the numbers posted on La Prensa.

The second reason this headline is ridiculous is that the kind of credibility which a leader who is elected in Ortega’s fashion should lose has not been lost. In October 2009, a Corte Suprema ruling—by the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) dominated court—decreed that the constitutional limitations restricting an individual to two terms as president, as well as outlawing consecutive presidential terms, was unconstitutional. (Subsequently, Ortega ignored the legislature’s outcry that the supreme court did not have the authority to overturn such a provision, and in a related ruling in January 2010, Ortega extended some of the FSLN judges’ terms on the court, which effectively stacked the court in his favor). Ortega was elected Sunday for his third term, and will hold this post consecutive to his second.  Read more