Nicaragua's Presidential Campaign Kicks Off, With No Rivals

Nicaragua's presidential campaign kicks off, with no rivals

Managua, Sept 25 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 25th Sep, 2021 ) :Nicaragua's presidential election campaign officially kicks off on Saturday with incumbent Daniel Ortega's main rivals all under arrest.

The 75-year-old, in power since 2007, will be seeking a fourth consecutive term in the November 7 vote despite international condemnation of his government's detention of 37 opposition figures since June.

Running on the ticket of his Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), Ortega has again chosen his wife Rosario Murillo,70, vice president since 2017, as his running mate.

They will be up against candidates from five little-known right-wing parties -- the only ones cleared to participate by the government electoral body.

"People know that the electoral process will be anything but transparent and that, to a certain extent, it is pre-ordained that the Sandinista Front will win," said former Nicaragua diplomat and analyst Edgar Parrales.

Ortega's government has been accused of political persecution for its rounding up of opposition figures in a series of house and night-time raids since June 2, including seven aspiring presidential candidates.

The charges against them are rooted in a law initiated by Ortega and approved by parliament in December, widely criticized as a means of freezing out challengers and silencing opponents.

The president accuses those arrested of seeking to overthrow him with US backing.

The majority are in jail awaiting trial -- in dire conditions according to their loved ones -- and a handful under house arrest.