Nearshore Americas

Nicaraguan President Nominates Wife for Vice President, Jolting Nation

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has named his wife Rosario Murillo as running mate for vice president, as pre-poll surveys predict a third successive victory for the 70-year-old leader in November’s presidential elections.
Ortega has dismissed criticism that he was giving birth to a family dynasty in the Central American country, saying women represent 40% of his cabinet. Murillo is currently a minister in his government and a key spokesperson of his administration.
Mother of more than a dozen children, Murillo has a clean profile, but she is widely seen as sharing power with her husband. Ortega’s decision has strengthened his critics, who have often accused the couple of running the Central American country like their personal fiefdom.
Two years ago, Ortega amended the constitution, allowing himself to run for a third successive term. The legislative bill his party pushed through the Congress scrapped the limits to the number of terms Nicaraguan presidents can serve, and the minimum requirement of winning at least 35% votes to be appointed president.
Ortega says he decided to contest elections again because he believes the country needs long-term political stability to deal with its problems. But the Central American country has remained impoverished despite his relentless rule.
A former left-wing guerrilla, Ortega led a successful revolution against the dictatorship of the Somoza family, who ruled Nicaragua for four decades.

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Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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