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CID Gallup: "56% of the population thinks corruption has increased in the last six months"  

Support for the Sandinista Front party falls to 13% –its lowest point– while 61% disapprove of Daniel Ortega's presidential administration

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Foto: EFE | Confidencial

Redacción Confidencial

11 de julio 2023

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"Corruption does not take a break in Nicaragua" is a statement that emerges from what was expressed by hundreds of Nicaraguan respondents of the opinion poll carried out by Costa Rican firm CID Gallup. Their latest survey –contracted by CONFIDENCIAL-- reveals that 56% of Nicaraguans consider that corruption in the country "has increased" in the last six months.

To the question: What is your opinion about the level of corruption in the last six months? 56% answered that "it has increased", 23% considered that "it is the same", 13% answered that "it has decreased," and 8% "I don't know."


Another result of survey is that 35% of those who identified themselves as "Sandinistas" consider that corruption "has increased", 25% believe that "it is the same" and only 23% affirm that it has decreased, while the remaining percentage says they don't know or didn't  answer the question.

The survey was carried out between June 14 and 20, 2023, with 823 respondents interviewed through calls to their cell phones. The margin of error is +/-2.93% and the confidence level is 95%, according to the technical data sheet.

The perception of increased corruption in the country is not limited to Nicaraguans. The most recent Corruption Perception Index placed Nicaragua as the most corrupt country in Central America and the third in Latin America, surpassed only by Venezuela and Haiti. The ranking was published in January 2023 by Transparency International (TI).

"The consolidation of the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship in recent years, the excessive concentration of power in these figures, the total curtailment of the independence of state institutions and, obviously, the reduction of civic space to dramatically low levels, help explain the tragic situation in terms of corruption that Nicaragua is experiencing," stressed Luciana Torchiaro, TI's advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean, in an interview with CONFIDENCIAL in February 2023

FSLN and Ortega in free fall  

The survey also reveals that 75% of Nicaraguans do not support any political party, while only 13% identify with the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). 7% support one of the parties that collaborates with the regime  –PLI, PLC, ALN and APRE–, while 3% support opposition organizations, and 2% support "others".

Other polls by CID Gallup have shown a "free fall" in support for the Sandinista Front. In 2013, the FSLN enjoyed 52% of party preference. This dropped to 22% after the 2018 crisis. In a June 2023 opinion poll by the Costa Rican firm, only 16% of respondents identified with the governing party.

While the deterioration in support of the FSLN as a party is both growing and chronic, support for Ortega's leadership as chief executive of Nicaragua presents an even deeper sustained erosion. 61% of those polled "disapprove" of his presidential performance, while 29% "approve" and 10% say they "do not know" or did not answer.

Based on political affiliation, 35% of those who identified themselves as Sandinistas "disapprove" of Ortega's performance and 5% preferred not to answer, while 60% of FSLN supporters approve his performance, according to the public opinion survey.

Ortega's administration has had high disapproved ratings over the last three years, with 2022 being the year with the highest disapproval rating, with 58%, followed by January 2023 with 57%, according to the pollster's historical data.

The Catholic Church: The "most credible" institution

In contrast to the Sandinista Front’s and Ortega’s low favorability ratings, the Catholic Church appears in the CID Gallup survey as the "most credible" institution in Nicaragua. This recognition comes despite the attacks, threats and smear campaigns by the dictatorship and its operators against the Church, its bishops and priests.

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The persecution by the Ortega-Murillo regime against the Catholic Church increased in 2022, when the government –using its repressive machinery, headed by the National Police– began to close Catholic radio stations, desecrate churches, expel priests and nuns from the country –more than 80 by July 2023–, as well as prohibit processions, and imprison, banish and denationalize priests.

The pollsters read respondents a list of institutions and asked them: Do you believe in what they say a lot, some, a little or not at all? 48% answered "a lot” or “some" to the Catholic Church, followed by the Evangelical Church with 42% and the independent media with 33%. 

With ratings below 30% of "credibility" are: the Nicaraguan Army (29%), the Presidency (26%), the National Police (25%), the pro-government FSLN (25%) and the opposition and businessmen (24% each).

Former political prisoners with highest favorability ratings 

The low credibility rating of the Sandinista Front and the government is corroborated by the favorable and unfavorable ratings received by its main leaders. In the same survey, CID Gallup asked about 18 public personalities. Of the 18, Ortega, Murillo and their son Laureano appear with the highest unfavorable ratings, while four former political prisoners who have been stripped of their nationality received the highest favorable ratings. 

The list of personalities with high favorability ratings is headed by Félix Maradiaga with 48% favorable and 21% unfavorable; Cristiana Chamorro Barrios with 43% and 21%, respectively; Violeta Granera with 40% favorable and 34% unfavorable; and Miguel Mora with 39% in both categories.

At the bottom of the list is Laureano Ortega Murillo, with 33% favorable and 43% unfavorable. His father, Daniel Ortega, received 34% favorable and 54% unfavorable ratings, while his mother, Rosario Murillo, obtained 38% and 49%, respectively. Also among the least favorably rated is congressman Gustavo Porras, president of the National Assembly, with a 34% favorable and 44% unfavorable rating.

Reyna Rueda, mayor of Managua, and Fidel Moreno Briones, political secretary of the municipal Managua FSLN, have the highest favorability ratings among Ortega officials. Both obtained 38% favorable opinions. The mayor received a 29% unfavorable rating, while Moreno received a 28% unfavorable rating. 

Respondents do not expect democratic elections

CID Gallup also asked: How likely do you think it is that in 2026 Rosario Murillo will be elected as Daniel Ortega's successor? 48% of the respondents answered "likely” or “very likely", while 41% answered that it is "unlikely” or “not very likely". The remaining 11% answered "I don’t know” or did not answer the question. 

Among supporters of the Sandinista Front, 56% consider it "likely” or “very likely" that Murillo will replace Ortega, while 31% believe it "unlikely” or “not very likely." 13% did not answer.

Respondents were also asked: How likely do you think it is that a new democratic government will be elected in 2026? 56% believe it is “unlikely” or “totally unlikely”, while 35% consider it "somewhat likely” or “very likely”. The remaining 9% responded "I don’t know."

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by our staff.

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Redacción Confidencial

Redacción Confidencial

Confidencial es un diario digital nicaragüense, de formato multimedia, fundado por Carlos F. Chamorro en junio de 1996. Inició como un semanario impreso y hoy es un medio de referencia regional con información, análisis, entrevistas, perfiles, reportajes e investigaciones sobre Nicaragua, informando desde el exilio por la persecución política de la dictadura de Daniel Ortega y Rosario Murillo.

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