(published Nov. 10, 8:47 p.m.. Updated Nov. 11, 10:30 a.m.) – The U.S. State Department is criticizing Nicaragua’s elections, saying they were “marred by significant irregularities” and “not transparent,” reducing the U.S. government’s confidence in their outcome.
The United States has not yet recognized Daniel Ortega’s victory.
“We agree with the European Union electoral mission that the Supreme Electoral Council did not operate in a transparent and impartial manner,” said State Department spokesman Mark C. Toner in a Nov. 10 press release.
Toner said the US remains “very concerned about irregularities throughout the Nicaraguan electoral process.”
He noted the Nicaraguan government’s “failure to accredit certain credible domestic organizations as observers, difficulties voters faced in obtaining proper identification, and pronouncements by Nicaraguan authorities that electoral candidates might be disqualified after the elections.”
He also lamented the obstruction of poll watchers and election-day violence.
“All of these actions, and a lack of full accounting of ballots cast, reduce our confidence in the outcome of the elections,” Toner said. “We also lament any loss of life as a result of the election and reiterate the EU’s call for all parties to resolve their disagreements through peaceful means.”
No EU nation has recognized Ortega’s victory. The president has only been congratulated by a handful of nations outside of the ALBA countries, including El Salvador, Russia, Brazil and Peru. Honduras became the second Central American country to congratulate Ortega, and Spain sent a vague letter congratulating “Nicaraguan society for its democratic values.”
Costa Rica, meanwhile, has said it won’t comment on Ortega’s reelection.