Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega sworn in for a third term


Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega celebrates with First Lady Rosario Murillo after receiving his credentials in Managua Monday, a day before his re-inauguration.


Rodrigo Arangua

Daniel Ortega is set to be sworn in for his third term as Nicaragua's president today, following his dramatic win in November's elections.

Ortega garnered 64 percent of the vote, and his party, the Sandinista National Liberation Front, won a congressional majority, which allows them to make changes to the constitution, CNN reported

Ortega's swearing in comes amidst complaints from opposition that he is trying to secure control of state institutions and that his election as president was unconstitutional. Ortega was allowed to run after the Sandinista-controlled Supreme Court overturned a ban on consecutive terms. Critics also say the elections were riddled with voter intimidation and ballot fraud, CNN reported. 

Ortega, who fought against the US-supported Contra rebels in the 1980s, has pledged "not to use the National Assembly to change the country's course" and promised "peace, stability and tranquility," the Associated Press reported

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Ortega, 66, led the Sandinista revolution that overthrew Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979. He was first elected as president in 1985, and ran unsuccessfully in 1990, 1996 and 2001 before being elected again in 2006, according to CNN. 

Rosario Murillo, Nicaragua's First Lady and presidential spokeswoman, said her husband was "ready" to lead one of the "best governments" in Nicaragua's history, according to the BBC

Since Ortega's election in 2006, Nicaragua's economy has grown, with GDP increasing 4.5 percent in 2010, according to US Department of State. However, the country remains one of the poorest in the region.  

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Thousands of Nicaraguan citizens are expected to attend the inauguration in Managua's Revolution Square. They will be joined by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is touring the region. Chavez has given Ortega's government over $600 million a year in donations and discounted oil to help, the AP reported.

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