Monday, November 06, 2006

Nicaragua: Rapid Count Suggests Ortega Win

Old U.S. foe set to become new Nicaraguan president

The Grupo Cívico Ética y Transparencia, a chapter of Transparency International in Nicaragua, has released its rapid count data from Sunday's presidential election. The data shows FSLN candidate Daniel Ortega winning the election with about 38% of the vote. According to Nicaraguan electoral law, a candidate must win at least 40% of the vote, or 35% with at least 5% more votes than the closest competitor, to avoid a run-off. The runner-up in the election is Eduardo Montealegre, of the ALN party, with about 29% of the votes, or substantially less than would be required for a run-off election.

According to the Grupo Cívico's data, therefore, Ortega has won the election and will be Nicaragua's next president. The margin of error in its results is +/- 1.7%.

The rapid count results are:

Daniel Ortega (FSLN): 38.49%
Eduardo Montealegre (ALN): 29.52%
José Rizo (PLC): 24.15%
Edmundo Jarquín (MRS): 7.44%
Edén Pastora (AC): 0.40%

The official count is proceeding slowly, with just 15% of the votes counted by mid-morning on Monday. In that count, Ortega currently has 40% of the vote, and Montealegre has 33%. None of the international observer groups monitoring the elections have noted serious problems thus far.

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