[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Nicaragua to the Sandinistas?
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Tue Sep 5 06:35:16 BST 2006
Wed Aug 30, 1:02 AM ET
Despite U.S. efforts to stop left-wing Nicaraguan
politician Daniel Ortega from returning to power, a
poll released on Tuesday showed he maintained a
six-point lead over rival presidential candidates.
Ortega, who headed the socialist Sandinista government
in the 1980s, had the support of 29 percent of those
surveyed, according to a poll by Cid-Gallup.
Twenty-three percent said they backed conservative
banker and former Foreign Minister Eduardo
A June Cid-Gallip poll also gave Ortega a six-point
Washington, which backed Contra rebels who battled the
Soviet-supported Sandinista government, has criticized
Ortega as "undemocratic" and tried to strengthen his
The U.S Embassy in Managua held several meetings
before the campaign started in an attempt to unite
Nicaragua's fractured right behind a single candidate.
Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in the
When the Sandinistas took power in 1979, they improved
living conditions for some of the poor and introduced
free healthcare and universal education, but were
criticized for human rights abuses and forced military
Ortega enjoys the support of Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez, who has upset the United States by using oil
money to build anti-U.S. alliances and strengthen
leftist candidates across Latin America.
Montealegre is competing against Jose Rizo, a former
vice-president from the ruling Liberal Party.
Voters will choose a president on November 5.
Nicaraguan elections include a run-off unless one
candidate receives 40 percent of the vote or 35
percent with at least a five-point lead over his
This will be Ortega's third presidential bid since
being defeated at the polls in 1990. Many in Nicaragua
are skeptical whether he can hold his lead.
This time the leftist has struck alliances with old
rivals to try and broaden his appeal.
In the poll, 14 percent of the 1,258 persons
interviewed said they supported Sandinista dissident
Cid-Gallup said the poll had a margin of error of 2.8
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