Gadea rejects final vote count

Gadea calls on his supporters to remain on standby for marching orders

MANAGUA—Fabio Gadea, presidential candidate for the Independent Liberal Party (PLI), refuses to accept the official results of Sunday’s presidential elections, which show President Daniel Ortega won with 62 percent.

The Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) announced in its third and final vote count Monday afternoon at 2 p.m., with 85.5 percent of the votes counted, that Ortega won with 62 percent, followed by Gadea’s 30.9 percent. Former President Arnoldo Alemán, who has made no public appearance or statement since the elections, is in a distant third place with 6 percent, CSE.

“The results are official,” said CSE president Roberto Rivas.

Gadea, however, says his party witnessed too much fraud and irregularities to believe the results.

“In the context of irregularities and abuses, at this moment we cannot accept the results presented by the Supreme Electoral Council because they do not reflect the will of the people, rather the will of the CSE,” Gadea said in a press conference at 1:30 on Monday afternoon, simultaneous to the CSE’s final vote tally.

Gadea insists that “all Nicaraguans and the international community know that we have had an electoral process corrupted from the beginning.”

The opposition candidate said he agreed to participate in the elections despite concerns about “the unconstitutional candidacy of Daniel Ortega” because he wanted to give Nicaraguan voters “a civilized option” in the polls. However, he said, the will of the people was not respected.

“Lamentably, the Nicaraguans have not had a credible opportunity to exercise their democratic rights,” Gadea said.

Employing an old Sandinista slogan, Gadea said “the struggle continues” and called on his party supporters throughout the country to remain on alert and await marching orders from PLI leaders.

“We will not fail by accepting Orteguismo’s pretensions as a done deal,” Gadea said.

Upon reading the prepared statement, Gadea left the press conference without taking any questions.

In the streets of Managua, meanwhile, Sandinistas are lining the streets and filling the rotundas in celebration of Ortega’s apparent victory. The Sandinista media outlets are blaming Gadea for promoting violence and disorder, and turning to members of the clergy for support.