San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Opposition scrounges for swing votes to annul Nicaragua elections

Nicaragua´s opposition politicians say they´re not yet giving up on a bid to redo the Nov. 9 elections they claim were rigged by the ruling Sandinista party after a vote in Congress yesterday fell three votes short of a quorum.

Opposition legislators say they will launch a campaign to “convince” swing voters in Congress – namely six Liberal Nicaragua Alliance (ALN) legislators – to back their bid to annul the elections amid allegations of electoral fraud.

The opposition needs 47 of 90 votes to annul the election results and set up a revote next year. But President Daniel Ortega has said he opposes any attempt to annul the elections as unconstitutional and even signed a decree blocking the opposition´s proposal.

Independent legislator Jamileth Bonilla, an ex-Liberal who tends to vote along her former party line, said she will support the proposal and will help lead a push to convince other swing voters like herself that the Nov. 9 elections must be annulled. The National Assembly is set to vote on the issue again on Tuesday.

“We´ve lacked the tact to convince ALN legislators,” Bonilla said, adding “that´s the job we have to do now.”

Bonilla added that if the ruling Sandinista party gets away with rigging the Nov. 9 mayoral elections as alleged, there´s no reason President Daniel Ortega won´t try to do the same in an attempt to seek reelection.

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