President Daniel Ortega, seen here with his wife, Vice-President Rosario Murillo, is set for a fourth consecutive termImage: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images
Nicaragua's Ortega wins 4th term in 'sham' election
November 8, 2021
President Daniel Ortega has secured a clear victory in the Nicaraguan election. Most of his political opponents have been thrown in jail, and human rights groups and newspapers have also been shut down.
With over half the ballots counted, Ortega was on course for a fourth consecutive term in office with 75% of the vote.
After casting his vote on Sunday, the longtime leader slammed the US for interference in his country.
"The immense majority of Nicaraguans are voting for peace and not for war and not for terrorism," he said.
What has the international community said?
Various international bodies have criticized the election including the United States, the European Union and global human rights groups.
US President Joe Biden described the vote as a "sham" election in a statement on Sunday evening.
"What Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, orchestrated today was a pantomime election that was neither free nor fair, and most certainly not democratic," Biden said in a White House statement.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday said the rejection by some Western countries of Nicaragua's election results was unacceptable.
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares called the election "a farce against the people of Nicaragua, a farce against the international community and above all a farce against democracy."
"There was no kind of verification of these elections. They have no type of guarantees for Spain and the majority of the international community and the European Union," he added. "There was no free and fair election."
Ortega, who held the top job from 1979 to 1990 and then again since 2007, quashed protests in 2018 that left 328 dead, according to the UN.
"Hundreds of protesters were arbitrarily arrested and detained, many for months," Human Rights Watch said in a recent report. "Many were subjected to torture and ill-treatment including electric shocks, severe beatings, fingernail removal, asphyxiation, and rape."