Russia says it is “unacceptable” of the United States and certain Western countries not to recognize Nicaragua’s presidential election, in which the preliminary results showed President Daniel Ortega had secured a fourth term in office.
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“Last night, when the election was over, the White House leadership refused to recognize it and called on all the other countries to follow suit. We believe this is unacceptable. We resolutely condemn this policy,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference after negotiations with his Venezuelan counterpart, Felix Plasencia, in Moscow on Monday.
Lavrov added, “Well ahead of the election, the US unleashed a campaign not to recognize the results of the vote.”
Plasencia, for his part, denounced the Western rejection of the vote and said Nicaragua’s election was “held in an orderly manner and in full compliance with Nicaraguan legislation.”
Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council announced in the early hours of Monday that with roughly half the ballots counted, a preliminary tally gave Ortega’s Sandinista alliance about 75% of the votes.
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US President Joe Biden has labeled the presidential election as a “pantomime” election, claiming it was “neither free nor fair, and most certainly not democratic.”
The European Union also rejected the results. The elections, the trade union claimed, “complete the conversion of Nicaragua into an autocratic regime.”
The United States has long interfered in the internal affairs of Nicaragua, a Latin American country it once occupied from 1912 to 1933 as part of the Banana Wars. Washington and the EU have already imposed sanctions against Ortega’s family members and allies amid a series of US-provoked anti-government protests in the lead-up to recent election.
Nicaragua’s police have imprisoned nearly 40 leading opposition figures over alleged collusion with US agents and operatives since May, including seven presidential candidates, prominent business leaders and journalists.
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The 75-year-old Ortega, who helped depose the right-wing Somoza family dictatorship in the late 1970s, has been in power for 15 consecutive years. He has ruled alongside his 70-year-old wife Murillo, the government’s official spokeswoman, since early 2017. Ortega served as president in the 1980s before losing power in 1990. He, however, staged a stunning comeback in 2007.
Iran congratulates Nicaragua on successful election
Separately on Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh congratulated the people and government of Nicaragua on the successful conduct of the November 7 elections.
Khatibzadeh conveyed the heart-felt felicitations of Iran’s people and government to the brotherly and friendly people of Nicaragua for demonstrating and re-practicing democracy in addition to holding elections in peace and tranquility, and hoped that the election results would lead to further growth and development in Nicaragua.