Sixty-seven percent of Nicaraguans do not sympathize with any of the political parties registered for the voting on November 7, according to a poll by the CID Gallup firm, hired by CONFIDENCIAL. The survey was carried out between October 15 and 22. The electoral process, fully controlled by the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), seeks to guarantee the fourth consecutive presidential term of Daniel Ortega, with his wife Rosario Murillo as vice president for the second time.
Only 9% of those consulted said they support the ruling FSLN less than ten days before the political event. The statistic was similar to September, when another CID Gallup poll registered the party’s support at 8%. Luis Haug, director of the company, notes that is the lowest level of support for the ruling party in the last thirty years.
Seventy-six percent of those interviewed believe that the re-election of Daniel Ortega on November 7 will lack legitimacy and will obtain little or no national and international recognition. This, given the exclusion of opposition candidates’ participation on November 7. The percentage of those who consider Ortega's reelection illegitimate increases to 78%.
However, despite the lack of interest in the political parties and the rejection of Ortega's re-election, 55% affirm that they have a lot or some interest in voting, while 44% have little or no intention of doing so.
Regarding the November 7 elections, CID Gallup asked: "Who would you choose between the FSLN and the opposition if the opposition candidates for president and vice president were selected from among them the seven imprisoned presidential candidates?"
A total of 65% answered: “The opposition candidates”, while 17% said: “Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo”, and 18% did not answer the question.
Another telephone poll conducted by CID Gallup in September, based on a different sample of 1,200 respondents, found a similar trend with 65% supporting a hypothetical “opposition candidate” and 19% supporting Ortega, while 16% were either undecided or did not answer the question.
The survey contracted by CONFIDENCIAL was conducted through telephone interviews between October 15 and 22 with 1,109 participants and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%. The study focused on Nicaraguans over 16 years of age, with a cell phone with an active line, who are users of social networks and who have used the internet in the last seven days, according to the data sheet of the polling firm.
The political parties
The survey indicates that, after the FSLN (9%) comes the disqualified opposition party Ciudadanos por la Libertad (CxL) with 5%. This party lost its legal status on August 6th, cancelled by the authorities of the Supreme Electoral Council during the repressive escalation against the opposition which eliminated any political competition to clear the way for Ortega and Murillo’s new term.
The Constitutionalist Liberal Party (PLC) obtained 4%, the Independent Liberal Party (PLI) 3%, the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN) 2%, while the Nicaraguan Christian Way (CCN) and the Alliance for the Republic (Apre) registered 1%.
The Democratic Restoration Party (PRD), which was also stripped of its legal status weeks before CxL, reaches 1% support in the CID Gallup poll.
Likewise, the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy and the National Coalition obtain 1% support. These emerged as opposition organizations after the April 2018 Rebellion, in which hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans took to the streets to demand freedom, justice and democracy. They also called for the resignation of Ortega and Murillo, accused of crimes against humanity after the massacre and repression that left 325 murdered between April and September of that year. There were additionally thousands of wounded, dozens of disappeared, tens of thousands exiled by political persecution and more than a thousand political prisoners, of which more than 150 remain in the dictatorship’s jails.
Sixty-five percent demand freedom for the political prisoners
The telephone poll also inquired about the situation of more than 30 arrested opposition leaders who are being accused of “conspiracy” against national sovereignty, according to the regime's allegations. CID Gallup asked: “Do you believe in what the police (and the prosecution) statements say about these investigations?”
Seventy percent believe “little or nothing” of the police investigations, 24% believe “a lot or some”, and 6% did not respond. The statements of the Police and the Prosecutor's Office after the arrest of the political prisoners, alleged crimes that include “conspiracy” or “treason”, while ordering jail and raids of their homes and threatening “forced conditions” (detention) for those who refuse to appear for subpoenas before the Public Ministry.
A similar percentage of 70% believe that the arrests ordered by Ortega are not justified by the presumption of the crimes attributed to these citizens. However, 27% consider the arrests justified.
In relation to the situation of political prisoners, 68% believe that the arrests of the seven presidential candidates are not fair, and only 32% believe that they are somewhat or very fair.
Finally, 65% are in favor of the political prisoners being released and their political trials being annulled, a demand echoed by the international community and global organizations that promote and defend human rights. Only 27%, among whom the FSLN sympathizers stand out, think that the prisoners of conscience should be tried, and 8% preferred not to answer the question.