Ortega appears heading for electoral landslide

Costa Rican officials reported no flood of Nicaraguans headed home to vote. The security ministry said that only 223 persons had traveled north at Los Chiles by Sunday afternoon.

The election was turning out to be a landslide with Daniel Ortega expected to get a majority of votes.

The Washington Post already declared him a winner in its Monday headline.

The Consejo Supremo Electoral in Nicaragua said early Monday that Ortega had 63.95 percent of the vote.

The Sandinista leader’s principal opponents are radio broadcaster Fabio Gadea of the Partido Liberal Independiente and former president Arnoldo Aleman of the Partido Liberal Constitucionalista. Gadea had 29.09 percent, according to the Consejo, and Aleman had just 6.27 percent. That report was based on about 400,000 votes, it said.

Ortega is poised to become the first Nicaraguan president to serve back-to-back terms since the end of the Somoza dictatorship in 1979.

Ortega first came to power in 1984 after earlier leading a movement to overthrow the country’s dictator Anastasio Somoza. President Ortega lost his re-election bid in 1990, but regained power in 2006.

His popularity has been buoyed by his support for a free-market economy and assistance to the poor, who make up almost half of Nicaragua’s nearly 6 million residents. The country is among the poorest in the Western Hemisphere.

The United States. has raised concerns ahead of Sunday’s poll, because people have complained of not getting voting cards.

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