Five candidates for Nicaragua’s head of state will compete against Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega, who is starting as the running mate for his fifth and fourth consecutive terms, amid the arrest of seven ambitious presidential candidates from the opposition who had emerged as his main rivals.
Those absent from next Sunday’s election date are Christiana Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Felix Maradiaga, Juan Sebastian Chamorro, Miguel Mora, Medardo Mairena and Noel Fedori, who are imprisoned for “treason”.
Christiana Chamorro, daughter of former President Violetta Barrios de Chamorro (1990-1997) – who defeated Ortega in the 1990 elections – was the opposition figure most likely to win the election, according to opinion polls.
These are the candidates who will compete for the presidency of Ortega, a former combatant about to turn 76 who returned to power in 2007 after coordinating the government’s military council from 1979 to 1985 and presided over the country for the first time from 1985 to 1990.
Representative Walter Espinosa is the candidate for the presidency of Nicaragua from the Liberal Constitutional Party (PLC).
He replaced tourism businessman Milton Archia, who resigned his candidacy after the legislature asked the Sandinista-dominated Supreme Council of Elections to remove the Ciudadanos por la Libertad (CxL) coalition, the main opposition, from the electoral process. Claiming a violation of the electoral law and other laws, as has already happened.
Born in Managua in 1979, Espinosa was a candidate for deputy in the 2006 general election and did not win.
In the 2012 municipal elections, he was elected chancellor in Managua and an MP in the 2016 national elections.
And his promotion within the legislature is linked to the head of this party, MP Maria Heidi Osuna.
He studied tourism and hotel management and is married to Lycete Murillo, with whom he has three children.
Representative and Honorable Guillermo Osorno is the presidential candidate of the Nicaraguan Christian Way (CCN).
In the last general election of 2016, he was elected to the Central American Parliament (Parlacin) by a Sandinista-led coalition.
He ran for the presidency in the 1996 elections in which he received 4.1% of the vote, and under the electoral law he held a seat in the National Assembly for the period 1997-2002.
In the following electoral processes, he allied himself with a coalition headed by the Legislative Council and was re-elected as deputy for the 2002-2007 and 2007-2012 terms.
In the 2011 and 2016 national elections, he joined the Nicaraguan Triunfa coalition, which is headed by the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front, and ran as a candidate for deputy before Parlassen, being elected both times.
The pastor is a business manager and legal representative for CCN and has received criticism, among other things, for registering his son Abraham Osorno as a candidate for deputy.
Lawyer Marcelo Montiel, 49, is the presidential candidate of the Liberal Alliance Party of Nicaragua, a group known for collaborating with the Sandinistas, which he denies.
He ran for deputy in the 2011 general elections and did not win.
“They cannot call me collaborator or ally (ally) because I am clean,” says Montiel, who for Nicaragua, more than a dictatorship, what exists is a “concentration of forces.”
“What is here is a concentration of power, and we see, in practice, that all power is under Mr. Ortega,” he explains.
Gerson Gutierrez Gasparin
Gerson Gutierrez Gasparin, 29, is the youngest presidential candidate out of the six contenders. He competed for the Alliance for the Republic (APR) party.
He is a lawyer and notary, has a master’s degree in criminal law, and says he could be a better president than Salvadoran Najib Bukele.
He is originally from a rural community in the province of Matagalpa, northern Nicaragua, and since the age of 14 has been living in the capital, where he finished high school and university.
Speaking to Efe, he criticized the international community for questioning the electoral process in Nicaragua.
“The big problem with our honorable friends in the international community is that they only listen to a certain part of the so-called opposition groups, and by listening to only a part, they have a biased concept or version,” he says.
He points to the increasing immigration of Nicaragua as one of the main problems in the country.
Three sisters are running as candidates for the position of deputies for their party.
Mauricio Oroi, 53, is the presidential candidate for the Independent Liberal Party (PLI), although he is currently an MP for the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN).
He is an evangelical priest, lawyer, and clinical psychologist and has been noted as a collaborator and ally with the Sandinistas in Parliament, where he votes with them.
In May 2017, he was accused of financial fraud by the Evangelical University of Nicaragua, which made an agreement with the Central American Institute of Graduate Studies (ICES), of which Orue is affiliated, a complaint that did not work.
The presidential candidate of the People’s Liberation Party called on the international community not to ignore the elections.