MANAGUA – At least four people died in the political violence following the landslide victory of the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in the municipal elections held on Sunday in Nicaragua, in which it took 135 of the 153 city governments, including the capital city of Managua.
The Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) announced that the ruling FSLN also won control of the 15 provincial capitals and of the two main cities of the country’s autonomous regions.
The Sandinistas, whose top leader is the nation’s President Daniel Ortega, reelected for his fourth 5-year term in November 2016, currently govern 134 municipalities including Managua.
The CSE confirmed that the Sandinista candidate in Managua, Reyna Rueda, won the race for mayor of the Nicaraguan capital with an overwhelming 87.64 percent of the vote.
Managua City Hall, the chief political power base in the country after the presidency of the republic, has been ruled by the FSLN since 2002.
The Constitutionalist Liberal Party (PLC), the main opposition force in the National Assembly legislature, won 11 municipalities, while the Citizens for Freedom (CxL) party won another six, followed by the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN) with one.
After the first results were announced in the early hours this Monday, hundreds of Sandinistas in Managua and other municipalities around the country started shooting off fireworks to celebrate their victory, but in other towns clashes and acts of violence broke out.
The Panorama Electoral committee reported at least four people dead and dozens injured in the disturbances.
One of the fatalities was a Sandinista and the other three were opposition members, Haydee Castillo, coordinator of the observation committee made up of eight civic organizations, told a press conference.
The post-electoral incidents occurred in Nicaragua’s northern and Caribbean municipalities, where the difference in votes between the top two candidates was minimal, according to Panorama Electoral, which observed the voting from outside the polling stations.
The opposition demanded an investigation of those involved in the murders.
“Such incidents show once again the incapacity of this electoral system, our state institutions and the Nicaraguan government to protect the life, dignity and respect for the political rights of Nicaraguans,” the director of Panorama Electoral said.