Tags: daniel ortega | re-elected | nicaragua | wife | VP

Daniel Ortega Re-elected in Nicaragua With Wife as VP

Daniel Ortega Re-elected in Nicaragua With Wife as VP

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo wave after voting in Managua during the presidential election on Nov. 6, 2016. (Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 07 November 2016 05:34 PM

Daniel Ortega was re-elected president of Nicaragua with his wife Rosario Murillo as vice president with 72.5 percent of the vote Sunday, but a U.S. official said the state department was "deeply concerned" by its election process.

Opponents to Ortega charged the former Marxist guerilla was creating a "family dictatorship" after his Sandinistas won changes in the country's constitution that eliminated presidential term limits in 2014, Reuters reported. The election won Ortega his third term in office

"The United States is deeply concerned by the flawed presidential and legislative electoral process in Nicaragua, which precluded the possibility of a free and fair election," state department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement Monday.

"In advance of the elections, the Nicaraguan government sidelined opposition candidates for president, limited domestic observation at the polls and access to voting credentials, and took other actions to deny democratic space in the process. The decision by the Nicaraguan government not to invite independent international electoral observers further degraded the legitimacy of the election," Toner added.

Toner said the state department would push the Nicaraguan government to uphold democratic practices including press freedom and respect for universal human rights.

"We have a strong partnership with the Nicaraguan people," Tone said in his state department comments. "We will continue to work on behalf of the Nicaraguan people to achieve a more prosperous, secure, and democratic Nicaragua."

The Wall Street Journal reported 35 percent of eligible Nicaraguan voters did not vote in the election, an increase of 9 percent since the 2011 election. Analysts told the newspaper the participation rate was likely a measure of Nicaraguans' unhappiness with the country's uncompetitive elections.

The government run by Ortega, 70, has become more authoritarian over the years but continued to embrace market-friendly economic policies, wrote The Wall Street Journal. Opponents complained that Ortega-controlled courts blocked the main opposition coalition from taking part in the election.

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Daniel Ortega was re-elected president of Nicaragua with his wife Rosario Murillo as vice president with 72.5 percent of the vote Sunday, but a U.S. official said the state department was "deeply concerned" by its election process.
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Monday, 07 November 2016 05:34 PM
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