Ortega sworn in for fifth term after widely panned election

Managua, Jan 10 (EFE).- Nicaragua’s president Daniel Ortega was sworn in on Monday for a fifth term – his fourth consecutive and second together with his wife Rosario Murillo as vice president.

Ortega, who has been in power since January 2007, will be able to remain in office until January 2027, accumulating 20 years in the top job — unprecedented in the recent history of Nicaragua and in Latin America.

The oath-taking was carried out in an official ceremony in the Plaza de la Revolución in Managua in the presence of the presidents of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel; Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, and Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, as well as other international representatives, including from China, Iran and Russia.

The inauguration ceremony was also attended by former Salvadoran and nationalized Nicaraguan presidents Mauricio Funes and Salvador Sánchez Cerén, as well as former Guatemalan president Vinicio Cerezo.

The 76-year-old former Sandinista guerrilla, who has ruled without checks in Nicaragua since 2012, has been in power for 15 years in a row after coordinating a Governing Board from 1979 to 1985 and presiding over the country for the first time from 1985 to 1990.

Ortega’s main political rivals did not participate in November’s election because, in the run-up, the authorities dissolved three political parties and arrested more than 40 opposition leaders, including seven presidential candidates such as the independent, and favorite, Cristiana Chamorro.

As a result, the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) adopted a resolution saying the election lacked “democratic legitimacy” and were neither free, nor fair, nor transparent.

The EU branded Ortega a “dictator” staging “fake” elections, and the United States described the poll as a “pantomime.”

The Sandinista government then accused the OAS of interventionism and began its withdrawal from the entity, which is expected to take two years. EFE


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