Sandinistas win 62 congressional seats

Arnoldo Alemán's PLC crashes and burns

(posted Nov. 15, 9:34 p.m.) – The final legislative vote tally released by the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) Tuesday night reveals a dramatic shift in power in the legislative National Assembly.

According to the CSE, the ruling Sandinista Front has won a whopping 62 of 90 elected seats in the National Assembly, followed by 26 seats for the Independent Liberal Party’s (PLI) and only two seats for former President Arnoldo Alemán’s Liberal Constitutional Party (PLC).

The PLC, which had 20 seats in the previous congress, forming the second-biggest voting bloc, has essentially been reduced to nothing. The party is challenging the results.

Several other minority parties that were represented in the previous congress, such as the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS), which won five seats in 2006, and the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN), which had five seats, have been eliminated entirely, as have the small handful of independents.

The other legislative groups—the Nicaraguan Democratic Bloc (BDN) and the Nicaraguan Unity Bloc (BUN)—have mostly been absorbed into the PLI group.

In all, the seven voting blocs that existed in the previous National Assembly have essentially been reduced to a bipartisan chamber.

The Sandinistas, of course, are the big winners, jumping from 38 seats to 62 seats.

The new congress will be sworn in on Jan. 9, 2012.