Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has emerged as the victor of the presidential race in the Central American country, overwhelmingly winning a third consecutive term in office.
The electoral board in Nicaragua made the announcement on Monday after the 70-year-old former leftist leader, who ran with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as his vice presidential candidate, garnered 72.1 percent of the votes, with 66.3 percent of polling stations counted so far.
Ortega’s main opponent, the center-right Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC) candidate Maximino Rodriguez, came second with 14.2 percent of votes, the board said.
The results brought hundreds of Ortega’s supporters and those of his Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) party out into the streets of the capital, Managua, to celebrate.
“I’m euphoric, thanking God for this opportunity, this triumph, so the people continue to reap benefits,” said a reveler, waving the red and black Sandinista party flags.
“Thanks to the (Sandinista) revolution, I have faith I’ll be able to keep moving forward, because we are backed by a good government,” she added.
The opposition, however, said it would not recognize the outcome and reiterated that it viewed the vote as a “farce.”
Ortega, a former leftist guerrilla leader who deposed dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979, led the Sandinista guerrilla movement before becoming president in 1985 for a five-year term that ended with an electoral defeat in 1990. He returned to presidency in 2006.
Opponents accuse Ortega of trying to set up a family dynasty. However, surveys show Ortega enjoys voter support for a drop in poverty in one of the poorest countries in Latin America during his tenure.