Daniel Ortega is on course to win a third presidential term in Nicaragua, with some critics saying that he could in effect become ‘president for life’. It was recently decided that term limits in the country should be abandoned, effectively leaving the way open for changes that will allow Ortega to run for as long as he wishes.
Exit polls suggest that Daniel Ortega has a strong lead over his closest rival, Fabio Gadea of the Liberal Independent Party. Ortega’s popularity has been on the rise in recent years as the former revolutionary continues to push through free market reforms that were once considered alien to the country.
Daniel Ortega led a Sandanista push overthrow President Anastasio Somoza in the late 70’s. Viewed by the US as a Soviet-backed threat, Ortega withstood efforts by the Americans to fund the Contras, a rebel power. Ortega won his first election in 1984, but was defeated in 1990. Two subsequent runs failed before he returned to power in 2006 on the back of his new free market approach.