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Nicaragua: Concerns About Fraud in Recent Elections

Editor's Note: The following is a translation of a summary post written by Alvaro Berroteran of the blog site Nicaragua y Su Blog [es]. Used with permission.

The streets of Managua were not the only place where supporters of the two political parties in Nicaragua were present during the recent municipal elections held on November 9. One could also find them on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. In some cases, there were virtual confrontations, where the written word was used as a weapon and the bloggers also did not hold back. However, at least in these spaces, there were no victims or injured as a result.

Some bloggers provided their thoughts on the results of the municipal elections, such as the blogger from Y ahora ¿de qué vamos a hablar? [es] writes that the opposition had lost:

Sorpresa para mucha gente, el partido de gobierno ha ganado las elecciones municipales, obteniendo el control de una gran mayoría de alcaldías por todo el país, con un porcentaje total de votos a nivel nacional mucho mayor que el que obtuvo en las pasadas elecciones.

It was surprising for many people that the government's party won the municipal elections by gaining control of a large majority of the mayorships across the country, with a total percentage of votes much higher than they obtained in past elections on a national level.

However, one theme that was reoccurring in many of the blogs was the accusation of fraud by the ruling party, the FSLN. One blog that claims this is Chepe Velez [es], who writes:

La transparencia con la que se desarrollaron estas elecciones municipales dió la razón al Magistrado de Rivas cuando este se negó a acreditar observadores nacionales. En Nicaragua no necesitamos más observadores, con nosotros basta y sobra. Miles de ciudadanos de todos los rincones del país denuncian con nombres y apellidos, algunos con actas y boletas en las manos, el fraude que llevará a los candidatos danielistas a las sillas del poder local. La serie de trucos es larga y va desde la negación de entrega de cédulas a ciudadanos independientes, la emisión de tales documentos a menores de edad relacionados con “el partido”, la múltiple votación de militantes de la dictadura, anulación de boletas no afines, cierre anticipado de juntas receptoras, hasta llegar a la apertura de juntas clandestinas o virtuales. El fraude fue claro y lo observamos todos. A pesar del fraude quedó la evidencia de lo que realmente fue una abrumadora derrota al danielismo. Con tantos trucos aun se nota la grandeza del rechazo a la dictadura de la familia Ortega Murillo.

The transparency with which the elections took place demonstrated that Judge Rivas was correct, when he refused to provide accreditation to national observers. We don't need more observers in Nicaragua, we are more than enough. Thousands of citizens from all corners of the country make complaints with first and last names, some with ballots in hand. The fraud lifted the candidates of Daniel (Ortega) to local seats of power. The list of tricks is long and began with the denial of I.D. cards to independent citizens, the distribution of these documents to minors, who are linked to the “party,” the multiple acts of voting by party members of the dictatorship, the annulment of ballots, the early closing of stations, even the opening of clandestine or virtual stations. The fraud was clear and we saw it all. In spite of the fraud, it became evident the surprising defeat of Danielismo. With so many tricks, it was clear the rejection of the dictatorship of the family of Ortega Murillo.

And now, Leonel Delgado of Notas Rigorosas [es] writes that much of the coverage is so capital-centric:

Managua se traga toda la atención, los medios hablan de y desde Managua. Managua bendice o maldice y así fabrica verdades.

A la mitad de la población del país, más o menos, no le interesan las elecciones municipales, la otra mitad tiende a estar polarizada entre sandinistas y liberales.

Managua swallows all of the attention, the media talks about and from Managua. Managua blesses or curses, and manufactures the truth.

Half the population of the country, more or less, do not care about the municipal elections, the other half tend to be polarized between Sandinistas y Liberals.

Another blog that states that there was fraud in the municipal elections is called Contra La Dictadura [es] (Against the Dictatorship) cites a blog written by friend, who forewarned of possible fraud and writes that citizens need to rebel or that they are in trouble.

El 19 de octubre en el post “Cracking the code” un bloguero amigo escribía, entre otras cosas, lo siguiente:

Estoy convencido que en las próximas elecciones habrá fraude y que el momento crítico para desmontar el pacto habrá de empezar el segundo después de anunciado el resultado electoral. Si aceptamos el fraudulento resultado de las elecciones sin protestar, por miedo a que nos garroteen los elementos paramilitares al servicio de Daniel Ortega, tendremos entonces dictadura para rato y en lugar de este temor que ahora nos invade, en los años siguientes estaremos aterrorizados, inmóviles, como el pajarito frente al ojo de la serpiente. Por capearnos hoy un garrotazo estaremos condenando a nuestra descendencia a una vida en el oscurantismo, en el terror.

On October 19, on the post “Cracking the Code,” a blogger friend wrote:

I am convinced that in the next elections there will be fraud, and the critical moment to dismantle the pact will be the second after the election results are announced. If we accept the fraudulent results of the elections without protest, for fear that the paramilitary elements at the service of Daniel Ortega will attack us, then we will have dictatorship. And instead of this fear that now that invades us, in the next years we will be fearful, motionless, like a bird in front of the snake. For avoiding an attack, we would have condemned our descendants a dark life full of fear.

Another tool that was used to cover the elections was a Twitter application (as shown in the picture), where the key words like FSLN (Sandinista party), Alexis Arguello (Managua mayor) appeared was created by Igor.

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