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News > Latin America

Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega Takes Office for 3rd Consecutive Term

  • Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo will be sworn in as new president and vicepresident.

    Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo will be sworn in as new president and vicepresident. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 January 2017

The Sandinista leader is one of the most popular presidents in the history of Central America.

Daniel Ortega will assume office as president of Nicaragua Tuesday for his third consecutive term as head of the Central American nation, this time along with his wife Rosario Murillo elected vice president.

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The 71-year-old Ortega and his running mate Murillo won 72.5 percent of the vote in the general elections in November, with the second-place candidate trailing far behind at only 14.2 percent.

Despite the overwhelming difference in votes, the opposition called for new elections, but Ortega, from the Sandinista National Liberation Front or FSLN, said he was confident of the results.

"We are satisfied," said Ortega as president-elect. "Despite the obstacles that some tried to put on the electoral process, the will and the people's decision prevailed."

Heads of state and leaders of leftists political parties in Latin America have arrived in Nicaragua for the inauguration ceremony, scheduled to take place in the Revolution Square in the capital city of Managua.

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"This is not only a great thing for Nicaragua, that its leader is ratified and can carry on with his project that is really taking Nicaragua towards progress and development," said Mariano Ciafardini, head of Argentina's Solidarity Party.

"It's also great news for all Latin America because Daniel Ortega is one of the Latin American leaders who guarantees regional integration," said Ciafardini.

Nicaraguans gather at the Revolution Square every July 19 to celebrate the anniversary of the Sandinista revolution that toppled the dictatorship of the U.S.-backed Somoza dynasty in 1979.

Some of the achievements under Ortega include poverty reduction, sustained economic growth and support for social programs across the country. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America, Nicarauga ranks second among Latin American countries in reducing inequality.

Due to its literacy campaign, UNESCO declared Nicaragua free of illiteracy in 2009.

Daniel Ortega was first elected president in 1984. After serving one term, he returned to power in 2006 and was reelected again in 2011 and 2016.

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