Skip to comments.Sandinistas lead Nicaraguan election
Posted on 08/29/2006 11:46:31 PM PDT by Alter Kaker
MANAGUA, Nicaragua (Reuters) - Despite U.S. efforts to stop left-wing Nicaraguan politician Daniel Ortega from returning to power, a poll released on Tuesday showed he maintained a six-point lead over rival presidential candidates.
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.
Washington, which backed Contra rebels who battled the Soviet-supported Sandinista government, has criticized Ortega as "undemocratic" and tried to strengthen his rivals.
The U.S Embassy in Managua held several meetings before the campaign started in an attempt to unite Nicaragua's fractured right behind a single candidate.
Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in the Americas.
When the Sandinistas took power in 1979, they improved living conditions for some of the poor and introduced free healthcare and universal education, but were criticized for human rights abuses and forced military conscription.
Ortega enjoys the support of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has upset the United States by using oil money to build anti-U.S. alliances and strengthen leftist candidates across Latin America.
Montealegre is competing against Jose Rizo, a former vice-president from the ruling Liberal Party.
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.
This will be Ortega's third presidential bid since being defeated at the polls in 1990. Many in Nicaragua are skeptical whether he can hold his lead.
This time the leftist has struck alliances with old rivals to try and broaden his appeal.
In the poll, 14 percent of the 1,258 persons interviewed said they supported Sandinista dissident Edmundo Joaquin.
Cid-Gallup said the poll had a margin of error of 2.8 percent.
The extreme left can always count on the support of the mostly illiterate and ignorant segment of the latin American population...as Chavez and Morales have proved. That is how it wins there and how it wins here. By exploiting ignorance.
See other Eric Allie political cartoons Here.
He is probably the best conservative political cartoonist out there, in my opinion.
Interesting. Good point. Thanks to you both for posting.
Ortega enjoys the support of Jimmy Carter and John Kerry, I'd wager.
And they never get any new talent it seems. Are the Dems going to re-nominate Fritz Mondale?