HAVANA TIMES — Nine days ahead of schedule, the official proclamation of the winners of the November 6th elections has been issued. Magistrate Roberto Rivas declared the Presidential formula Ortega-Murillo the victors, and also awarded the Sandinista Front 71 seats in the National Assembly. The rest of the 21 legislators’ positions will be divided up among the small parties termed the “mosquito” opposition.
In further details, Rivas stated that the Sandinistas would have 14 legislators chosen nationally, another 56 from the departments, and one through the Constitution which awards a seat to the outgoing President and Vice President. In the latter case, former VP Omar Halleslevens will assume the position of Parliament’s president as soon as he takes his seat, according to sources from the Sandinista party.
In this way the governing party has increased its total control in the legislature from 63 seats to 71. The Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC) became the second political force. This is the group controlled by ex-President Arnoldo Alemán, who has a long-standing political pact with Daniel Ortega.
The Electoral Power also awarded the Sandinista Front complete hegemony over the departmentally elected deputies. In Boaco, Carazo, Estelí, Granada, Jinotega, Madriz, Nueva Segovia, Río San Juan and Rivas the government party will occupy all the seats. Meanwhile in Chinandega, as well as León and Matagalpa the Supreme Electoral Council gave the Sandinista Front 5 of the 6 deputy seats. In Managua they won 12 of the 19 possible seats.
Among the national deputies the first position was confirmed for current legislator Gustavo Porras, director of the National Workers’ Front; in this capacity he replaces deceased former Parliamentary president René Nuñez. Porras manages the country’s labor unions, the majority loyal followers of comandante Daniel Ortega.
The PLC was favored with 14 deputies, 3 from the national elections and the rest department choices. One of them, María Haydée Osuna, who is loyal to Liberal strongman Arnoldo Alemán, is also the sister of a former Electoral Council magistrate who was implicated in a case of narcotrafficking involving Henry Fariñas. The other two PLC national deputies are Miguel Rosales and Azucena Castillo.
The PLCs departmentally elected delegates are: Mirta Mercedes Carrión in Chinandega; Adilia Salinas Centeno in Chontales; Carlos Jirón in León; Lester Villareal in Masaya; Paul Antonio González in the South Caribbean region; and in Matagalpa José Montes Molina.
In Managua the PLC was favored with four deputies: María Flores Lanzas - Alemán’s wife - plus Walter Espinoza Fernández, Rosa Argentina Navarro and Jimmy Blandón Rubio. In addition, presidential candidate Maximino Rodríguez receives a seat for being the second political force in elections marked by abstention.
The Conservative Party (PC) received one national deputy: returning legislator Alfredo César. This party has questioned the division assigned by Rivas. Its leadership are claiming eight more seats and have filed a writ of appeal with the Supreme Electoral Council. Nevertheless, Rivas dismissed the writ arguing that it didn’t “comply with the correct form for a resolution.”
The Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN) was awarded one nationally elected deputy’s seat for Alejandro Mejía Ferreti, and another for Mauricio Orue Vásquez from the Managua departmental results.
The Independent Liberal Party (PLI) received one national and one departmental seat. The national selection passed over Marlene Camacho, wife of Pedro Reyes, who was awarded the official symbols and right to legally represent the PLI, which had formerly been identified with Eduardo Montealegre. This move outlawed the National Coalition for Democracy, which essentially meant elections with no real competition.
Roberto Rivas gave only one seat to APRE, the “Alliance for the Republic”. This went to Byron Jerez, Arnoldo Aleman’s former tax commissioner who had been prosecuted for embezzlement, conspiracy to commit a crime and illicit gains to the detriment of the Nicaraguan State. Jerez is notorious for the case of the terrace that he constructed using funds meant for the victims of Hurricane Mitch, a case brought to light by Confidencial; not to mention the importation of luxury pick-up trucks, and the overall corruption generalized during Aleman’s tenure, among other things.
The YATAMA indigenous party managed one regional seat, returning Brooklyn Rivera to Parliament after he was ousted by the Sandinista Front with allegations that he was involved in trafficking of indigenous lands. In fact, there were violent incidents in Puerto Cabezas on November 7th with Rivera denouncing irregularities aimed at “snatching away his deputy’s seat.”
The division of seats in the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN) was: 15 seats for the FSLN, 3 for the PLC and 1 each for the PLI and the ALN.
“The current resolution is electoral material, it admits no appeal and enters into effect from this date on, with notwithstanding its later publication in the Official Gaceta, all according to article 72 of the Electoral Law,” stated Rivas.