Nicaragua Apparently Says No to Ortega Again

MANAGUA, Nicaragua, NOV. 5, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Nicaragua´s conservative ruling party took a strong lead over Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega as early official results came in from Sunday´s presidential election, officials told Reuters today.

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Roberto Rivas, president of Nicaragua´s Supreme Electoral Council, said results were in from 5% of polling stations and showed Liberal Party Enrique Bolaños candidate with 53% support while Ortega trailed with 45.35%.

Unofficial reports said a more representative «quick count» from targeted polling stations around the country showed Bolaños keeping his lead or even extending it.

Ortega swept to power in a 1979 revolution and his socialist government then fought U.S.-backed rebels in a civil war that killed 30,000 people in the 1980s.

He was ousted from office in 1990 elections and lost again six years later, but he kept control of his Sandinista party and, with the country in economic crisis, opinion polls had showed him running neck and neck with Bolaños going into Sunday´s election.

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