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Elections in Nicaragua gives information on elections and election results in Nicaragua.
An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy has operated since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the executive and judiciary, and for regional and local government. This process is also used in many other private and business organizations, from clubs to voluntary associations and corporations.
Nicaragua is a presidential republic, in which the President of Nicaragua is both head of state and head of government, and there is a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government.
The Republic of Nicaragua elects on national level a head of state – the president – and a legislature. The President of Nicaragua and his or her vice-president are elected on one ballot for a five-year term by the people.
A head of state is the public persona who officially represents the national unity and legitimacy of a sovereign state. Depending on the country's form of government and separation of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or concurrently the head of government. In a parliamentary system the head of state is the de jure leader of the nation, and there is a separate de facto leader, often with the title of prime minister. In contrast, a semi-presidential system has both heads of state and government as the leaders de facto of the nation.
The president is a common title for the head of state in most republics. In politics, president is a title given to leaders of republican states.
A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city. Legislatures form important parts of most governments; in the separation of powers model, they are often contrasted with the executive and judicial branches of government.
The National Assembly (Asamblea Nacional) has 92 members: 90 deputies elected for a five-year term by proportional representation, the outgoing president, and the runner-up in the last presidential election. Should the president be reelected (not originally planned for in the Nicaraguan constitution), the outgoing vice president takes the seat reserved for him instead.
Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. If n% of the electorate support a particular political party, then roughly n% of seats will be won by that party. The essence of such systems is that all votes contribute to the result - not just a plurality, or a bare majority. The most prevalent forms of proportional representation all require the use of multiple-member voting districts, as it is not possible to fill a single seat in a proportional manner. In fact, the implementations of PR that achieve the highest levels of proportionality tend to include districts with large numbers of seats.
Nicaragua has a multi-party system, which means that there are more than two dominant political parties, and in past years, no other parties were able to achieve any electoral success.
A multi-party system is a system in which multiple political parties across the political spectrum run for national election, and all have the capacity to gain control of government offices, separately or in coalition. Apart from one-party-dominant and two-party systems, multi-party systems tend to be more common in parliamentary systems than presidential systems and far more common in countries that use proportional representation compared to countries that use first-past-the-post elections.
National Congress (November)
National Congress (November)
|President and vice president||None||President and vice president|
|National Congress||All seats||None||All seats|
|Provinces, cities and municipalities||All positions||None||All positions|
National Congress (January)
National Congress (January)
|10 January||None||10 January|
|National Congress||10 January||None||10 January|
|Provinces, cities and municipalities||10 January||None||10 January|
|Daniel Ortega||Sandinista National Liberation Front||1,806,651||72.44|
|Maximino Rodríguez||Constitutionalist Liberal Party||374,898||15.03|
|José Alvarado||Independent Liberal Party||112,562||4.51|
|Saturnino Cerrato||Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance||107,392||4.31|
|Erick Cabezas||Conservative Party||57,437||2.30|
|Carlos Canales||Alliance for the Republic||35,002||1.40|
|Source: CSE, BBC|
|Sandinista National Liberation Front||1,590,316||65.86||14||1,608,395||66.46||56||70||+7|
|Constitutionalist Liberal Party||369,342||15.30||3||375,432||15.51||10||13||+11|
|Independent Liberal Party||162,043||6.71||1||117,626||4.86||1||2||–25|
|Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance||137,541||5.70||1||137,078||5.66||1||2||+2|
|Alliance for the Republic||49,329||2.04||0||70,939||2.93||1||1||+1|
|Source: CSE, El 19 Digital|
In the 2017 municipal election voters elected Municipal Councils in 153 municipalities nationwide, with around 53% turnout. The final results for the elections were:
The Sandinista National Liberation Front is a socialist political party in Nicaragua.
The Independent Liberal Party is a Nicaraguan political party, which separated from Somoza's Nationalist Liberal Party (PLN) in 1944 and took part in the probably fraudulent election of 1947, won by Somoza's favored candidate. The PLI participated in the 1984 election, winning 9.6% of vote for President with its candidate Virgilio Godoy. In 1990 it was part of the National Opposition Union (UNO) - a broad alliance of Sandinista regime opponents - with Virgilio Godoy running as the vice-presidential candidate. UNO won the elections with 54% of the vote. The UNO alliance split in 1993, and in the 1996 elections the PLI, under the candidature of Virgilio Godoy, suffered its worst electoral debacle, receiving only 0.32% of the vote. It joined with Enrique Bolaños's PLC for the 2001 elections, and was part of Montealegre's Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance in the 2006 elections.
The Constitutionalist Liberal Party is an opposition political party in Nicaragua. At the Nicaraguan general election of 5 November 2006, the party won 25 of 92 seats in the National Assembly. However, the party suffered a devastating loss in the 2011 general election, losing 23 seats in the National Assembly.
The 1984 election took place on November 4. Of the 1,551,597 citizens registered in July, 1,170,142 voted (75.41%). The null votes were 6% of the total. The national averages of valid votes for president were:
José Daniel Ortega Saavedra is a Nicaraguan politician serving as President of Nicaragua since 2007; previously he was leader of Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990, first as Coordinator of the Junta of National Reconstruction (1979–1985) and then as President (1985–1990). A leader in the Sandinista National Liberation Front, his policies in government have seen the implementation of leftist reforms across Nicaragua.
The Democratic Conservative Party is a Nicaraguan political party with a traditional conservative ideology. The party was formed in 1979. Clemente Guido participated as PCD's presidential candidate in the 1984 elections, winning 14 percent of the vote and finishing in second place behind Daniel Ortega of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).
Virgilio Abelardo Godoy Reyes was a Nicaraguan politician who was the Vice President of his Central American nation from 25 April 1990 to October 1995.
The pro-Sandinista magazine, Envio claimed that this election was considered to have the "most freedom of choice" in the nation's history and was approved by international advocates of free elections.
The historical election of 1990 took place on February 25. The total registered voters were 1,752,088 and the abstentions 241,250 or 13.7%. The United Nicaraguan Opposition coalition of those who opposed the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front was victorious, winning 55% of the vote. Violeta Chamorro became president.The national averages of valid votes for president were:
In presidential elections, Arnoldo Alemán of the Liberal Alliance-Liberal Constitutionalist Party defeated Daniel Ortega of the Sandinista National Liberation Front. A record number of 24 parties and alliances participated in these elections.
|Candidates - Parties||Votes||%|
|Enrique José Bolaños Geyer - Constitutionalist Liberal Party||1,228,412||56.31|
|José Daniel Ortega Saavedra - Sandinista National Liberation Front||922,436||42.28|
|Alberto Saborío Morales - Conservative Party of Nicaragua||30,670||1.41|
|Total (turnout 73.19%)||100.00|
|Source: Catálogo Estadístico de Elecciones en Nicaragua 1990-2011|
|Candidates - Parties||Votes||%|
|José Daniel Ortega Saavedra - Sandinista National Liberation Front||854,316||38.07|
|Eduardo Montealegre - Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance||650,879||29.00|
|José Rizo Castellón - Constitutionalist Liberal Party||588,304||26.21|
|Edmundo Jarquín Calderón - Sandinista Renovation Movement||144,596||6.44|
|Edén Atanacio Pastora Gómez - Alternative for Change||6,120||0.27|
|The source is Consejo Supremo Electoral|
|Candidates – Parties||Votes||%|
|José Daniel Ortega Saavedra – Sandinista National Liberation Front||1,569,287||62.46|
|Fabio Gadea Mantilla – Independent Liberal Party||778,889||31.00|
|José Arnoldo Alemán Lacayo – Constitutionalist Liberal Party||148,507||5.91|
|Édgar Enrique Quiñónez Tuckler – Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance||10,003||0.40|
|Róger Antonio Guevara Mena – Alliance for the Republic||5,898||0.23|
The 1984 parliamentary election was held together with the presidential election on November 4. The percentages for National Assembly representatives were very similar to those the parties had received for their presidential candidate. The electoral quotient needed to win one of the 90 National Assembly seats was obtained by dividing the number of valid votes in each region by the number of representatives that had been assigned to each region, proportional to its population.
Each party's "left over" votes—those insufficient to earn it a seat in a given region—were then added together and re-tallied nationally. The seats earned in this second count went to the next candidate on the party's slate in the regions where it had come closest to winning on the first round. In addition, any party getting at least 1% of the presidential vote (which all six losing parties did) was allowed a seat for its defeated presidential candidate. The final composition of the National Assembly was thus:
The 1990 parliamentary election was held together with the presidential election on February 25. The final composition of the National Assembly in 1990 was:
Note: The 1990 Assembly members are joined by any presidential candidate who receives over 1% of the vote
The 1996 elections for the National Assembly took place together with the Presidential election on October 20. The final composition of the National Assembly in 1996 was:
|Constitutionalist Liberal Party (Partido Liberal Constitucionalista)||1,216,863||52.6%||11||38||49|
|Sandinista National Liberation Front (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional)||915,417||42.6%||9||30||39|
|Conservative Party of Nicaragua (Partido Conservador de Nicaragua)||29,933||4.8%||0||3||4|
|Total valid votes(turnout 75%)||2,042,524||100.0||20||70||92|
|Source: Consejo Supremo Electoral, Rulers and Adam Carr|
|Sandinista National Liberation Front (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional)||840,851||37,59||38|
|Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (Alianza Liberal Nicaragüense )||597,709||26,72||23|
|Constitutionalist Liberal Party (Partido Liberal Constitucionalista)||592,118||26.47||25|
|Sandinista Renovation Movement (Movimiento de Renovación Sandinista)||194,416||8.69||5|
|Alternative for Change (Alternativa por el Cambio)||12,053||0.54||-|
|Total (turnout %)||100.0||92|
|Source: Elecciones 2006 , 91.6 % counted (?). The seats are from IFES|
|Sandinista National Liberation Front (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional)||1,583,199||60.85||63*|
|Independent Liberal Party (Partido Liberal Independiente)||822,023||31.59||27*|
|Constitutionalist Liberal Party (Partido Liberal Constitucionalista)||167,639||6.44||2|
|Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (Alianza Liberal Nicaragüense )||19,658||0.76||—|
|Alliance for the Republic (Alianza por la República)||9,317||0.36||—|
|Source: CSE |
* The runner-up in the presidential election (Fabio Gadea Mantilla of the PLI) and the outgoing president are special members of the National Assembly; as Ortega was reelected, the outgoing Vice President (Jaime Morales Carazo of the FSLN), who was not Ortega's running mate in this election (having been replaced by Omar Halleslevens, will take up his seat. (AFP)
The 1990 municipal election was held together with the presidential and the parliamentary elections on February 25. Municipal Councils were elected in 131 municipalities nationwide. The final results for the elections were:
A great expectation in the 1996 municipal elections was the participation for the first (and last) time of what the Electoral Law terms "popular subscription associations". According to the Electoral Law, to be formed, an association needed, among other things, to present to the Supreme Electoral Council a "written request signed by a minimum of 5% of the citizens on the electoral rolls corresponding to the respective electoral area". A total of 53 associations participated in the municipal elections. One of them (the Civic Association of Potosí) won the mayor's post.
Despite winning only one municipality, an important number of association candidates finished in second or third place. In the nation's capital, Managua, two independent candidates; Pedro Solórzano of the Viva Managua Movement association and Herty Lewites of the Sol (sun) association competed against the AL and FSLN official candidates. ALN's Roberto Cedeño got the 28% of the votes followed closely by Solórzano with 26%, Carlos Guadamúz from the FSLN with 25.7% and Herty Lewites who became Managua's mayor four years later came in fourth place with 12.3%.
The 1996 municipal election took place together with the Presidential election on October 20. Municipal Councils were elected in 145 municipalities nationwide. The final results for the elections were:
In the 2000 municipal election 1,532,816 voters elected Municipal Councils in 151 municipalities nationwide. It was the first time that the Presidential and Municipal elections were held separately. The final results for the elections were:
The FSLN won for the first time in ten years the municipality of Managua, Nicaragua's capital city with its candidate Herty Lewites that pulled 44% of the votes.
In the 2004 municipal election 1,664,243 voters elected Municipal Councils in 152 municipalities nationwide, with nearly a 56% abstention. The final results for the elections were:
Note: Elections took place for the first time in the newly created municipality of San José de Bocay in the Jinotega department.
The 2004 municipal elections represented a huge Sandinista victory. The FSLN-Convergence won 14 of the 17 departmental capitals, 87 of the 152 municipalities —including 5 of the 6 that make up Managua’s greater metropolitan area— and 25 of Nicaragua’s 42 largest cities. In total it will govern a little over 4 million inhabitants, nearly 71% of the national population.
The Sandinista victory was attributed to the success of the FSLN-Convergence alliance. Of the 87 mayors elected on the FSLN ticket, 17 come from these allies: 5 are independents, 3 are from the Resistance, 3 belong to the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS), 2 are Conservatives, 2 are Liberals, 1 is from the Christian Unity Movement (MUC) and 1 is a Social Christian. Of the deputy mayors who ran with an FSLN mayoral candidate, 28 are Liberals, 16 are independent, 14 are from the MUC, 9 are Conservatives, 9 are from the MRS, 3 are from the Resistance and 1 is a Social Christian. These allied candidates allowed the FSLN to win 12 municipal governments for the first time.
The first autonomous elections on the Caribbean Coast took place in 1990 together with the presidential, parliamentary and municipal election on February 25. The voters elected the 45 Regional Council members in what was officially called the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) and the 45 in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS). The abstention was 21%, only 7% higher than the national average:
Note: National Assembly representatives also have a seat.
With an abstention of 34%, the inhabitants of the Atlantic Coast elected the 45 Regional Council members in what is officially called the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) and the 45 in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS) on February 27:
With an abstention of 40%, the inhabitants of the Atlantic Coast elected the 45 Regional Council members in what is officially called the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) and the 45 in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS) on March 1.:
With an overall abstention of 50-60%, inhabitants of the Atlantic Coast elected 90 Regional Council members on March 3:
The fifth autonomous elections on the Caribbean Coast took place on March 5. The abstention was a record-high 55%. The voters elected the 45 Regional Council members in what was officially called the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) and the 45 in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS):
Three other parties didn't pull enough votes to win a seat in the Regional Council; the regional Multiethnic Party for Coast Unity (PAMUC), the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS) alliance, and Alliance for the Republic (APRE).
The sixth autonomous elections on the Caribbean Coast took place on March 7. The abstention rate was 60%. The voters elected 45 Regional Council members in the RAAN and 45 in the RAAS:
The seventh autonomous elections on the Caribbean Coast took place on March 2. The abstention rate was 59%. The voters elected 45 members to each Regional Council in the newly renamed North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region (RACCN) and South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region (RACCS):
Enrique José Bolaños Geyer was the President of Nicaragua from January 10, 2002 to January 10, 2007. He received his education in the United States, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from Saint Louis University in 1962.
The North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region, sometimes shortened to RACN, or RACCN, or RAAN, is one of two autonomous regions in Nicaragua. It covers an area of 32,159 km² and has a population of 249,700. It is the largest autonomous region or department in Nicaragua. The capital is Puerto Cabezas. It contains part of the region known as the Mosquito Coast.
The National Assembly is the legislative branch of the government of Nicaragua founded in 1986 to replace the bicameral National Congress of Nicaragua, which consisted of two chambers.
The Conservative Party is a conservative political party in Nicaragua. The party's colour is green and its emblem is a torch of freedom in a circle. Its slogan is “Dios, Orden, Justicia”, often depicted on the three sides of a triangle.
Nicaragua held a general election on November 5, 2006. The country's voters went to the polls to elect a new President of the Republic and 90 members of the National Assembly, all of whom will serve five-year terms. Daniel Ortega (FSLN) won the race with 37.99% of the vote, Eduardo Montealegre (ALN) trailing with 28.30%, José Rizo (PLC) with 27.1%, Edmundo Jarquín (MRS) with 6.29%, and Edén Pastora (AC) with just 0.29%.
Eduardo Montealegre Rivas is a Nicaraguan politician. He ran for president in the 2006 general election as the candidate of the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN-PC) a spin-off of the Constitutional Liberal Party (PLC) in alliance with other liberal parties and the Conservative Party. He finished in second place after Daniel Ortega, receiving 28.3% of the vote.
The Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance is a political coalition in Nicaragua. It was started in 2005 by Eduardo Montealegre and other members of the Constitutional Liberal Party who opposed former President of the country Arnoldo Alemán's continued control of the PLC even after he had been found guilty of misuse of public funds, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Montealegre also opposed the political alliance, commonly referred to as 'El Pacto', between Alemán as head of the PLC and Daniel Ortega, head of the Sandinist National Liberation Front.
The Sandinista Renovation Movement is a Nicaraguan political party founded on May 21, 1995. Among its founders there are prominent militants of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) militants whom separated from that political party because of discrepancies with the leadership led by Daniel Ortega. Among the founders of the MRS are Sergio Ramírez Mercadowhoich, Dora María Téllez, Luis Carrión Cruz, Luis Felipe Pérez Caldera, Leonor Arguello and Reynaldo Antonio Téfel.
The Revolutionary Unity Movement is a Nicaraguan political party, founded in 1988 as a new Marxist party by defectors from the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua (PMLN), Nicaraguan Communist Party (PCdeN), and the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). Ex-FSLN member, Moisés Hassán, Managua's former Sandinista major, was the leader of the organization. MUR participated in the 1990 Nicaraguan Presidential Elections and won one seat in the National Assembly.
Yapti Tasba Masraka Nanih Aslatakanka is an indigenous party from Nicaragua's Atlantic Coast. YATAMA has its roots in the MISURASATA and the MISURA/KISAN organisations. In 1988, in response to the Central American peace accords, the remnants of MISURASATA and MISURA/KISAN in Honduras, Costa Rica and Miami reorganized as YATAMA, united the traditional Miskitu leaders Steadman Fagoth and Brooklyn Rivera.
The Alliance for the Republic is a center-right liberal-conservative Nicaraguan political party founded in 2004 by dissident liberals from the Constitutional Liberal Party (PLC) and the Conservative Party (PC) including Enrique Bolaños, who was President of Nicaragua at the time.
The Coast Alliance was a regional Nicaraguan political coalition of five parties founded in 1997 in opposition to the Constitutionalist Liberal Party and the Sandinista National Liberation Front. The members of the coalition were:
The Nicaraguan Resistance Party is a Nicaraguan political party founded in 1993 by the Contras, the armed opposition to the Sandinista government in the 1980s.
Presidential and parliamentary elections were held in Nicaragua on 6 November 2011. The incumbent president Daniel Ortega, won a third term in this election, with a landslide victory.
Convergencia Nacional or the National Convergence alliance was a coalition of a number of Nicaraguan political organizations, formed in support of Daniel Ortega's bid in the presidential election of 2001. Despite losing the presidential election, the FSLN-led alliance made steady gains in the 2004 municipal elections, and Ortega was elected president in 2006. The alliance included Ortega's FSLN, Nationalist Liberal Party, Popular Conservative Alliance, Marxist–Leninist Popular Action Movement, Nicaraguan Christian Democratic Union, as well as the Unidad Social Cristiana PUSC and dissident minority factions of the Sandinista Renovation Movement, Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance, Constitutionalist Liberal Party, Nicaraguan Resistance Party and YATAMA. Majority factions of the latter 6 organizations have joined the anti-Ortega coalition Alianza PLC founded in 2008.
General elections were held in Nicaragua on 6 November 2016 to elect the President, the National Assembly and members of the Central American Parliament. Incumbent President Daniel Ortega of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FLSN) was re-elected for a third consecutive term amid charges he and the FSLN used their control of state resources to bypass constitutional term limits and hamstring political rivals. The FSLN benefited from strong economic growth and relatively low levels of crime compared to neighbouring countries.