National elections were carried out peacefully in Nicaragua yesterday. The current President, Daniel Ortega, was re-elected in a landslide victory according to results released today by the Supreme Electoral Council.
With 86% of the votes counted, Ortega had 63% of the votes compared to 31% for his nearest challenger, Fabio Gadea. Former President Arnoldo Aleman trailed behind with 6%. While some concerns regarding voting irregularities have been raised, many consider that the current government policies benefiting the poor majority placed Ortega in a strong lead.
Elections were also held in Guatemala. Otto Perez Molina of the conservative Patriotic Party won 55% of the vote with opponent Manuel Baldizon of the Democratic Freedom Revival party, taking 45 percent. Perez Molina is the first former military leader to be elected president in Guatemala in the 25 years since the end of brutal military rule. His election raises grave concerns regarding the already grim human rights situation in Guatemala.