Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega has won the presidential election for the first time in a row, but the international community has refused to recognize the results, as most of his political opponents are in jail.
Ortega had secured more than 75% of the vote when most of the votes were counted on Tuesday.
Many governments in Latin America have criticized the election, with the United States going to the extent of threatening to impose sanctions on the Central American country.
Ortega was assured of victory even before the vote because his policemen had jailed most of the opposition candidates popular enough to defeat him.
It was clear that he would be elected for the fourth term in office when his policemen arrested senior politician Cristiana Chamorro on charges of money laundering earlier in June this year.
In the following months, they arrested a string of presidential hopefuls, clearing the path for Ortega to win the election again.
US secretary of State Antony Blinken has made it clear that the United States would explore all options, including sanctions and visa restrictions, to punish Ortega’s government.
The European Union has called for the immediate release of detained politicians, accusing Ortega of harassment and intimidation of political rivals.
Opposition to Ortega’s regime has been brewing for more than three years. In 2018, the government cracked down heavily on the opposition movement, leading to the death of more than 300 civilians.
Today, the Nicaraguan economy is in the doldrums, with its citizens trying to escape to neighboring countries, such as Costa Rica, and also to the United States.