Via NY Transfer News Collective * All the News that Doesn't Fit
Political Parties Suffer Post-Election Repercussions
By Toby Mailman, via NY Transfer News Collective, 20 November 1996
MANAGUA, Nov.20 -- Only days short of the announcement of the official results of the October 20 elections here, the alliance which has virtually won has already begun to unravel.
The Nationalist Liberal Party (PLN) ordered its two representatives to the Political Coordination of the presumed president-elect Arnoldo Aleman's Liberal Alliance to remove themselves from that body. The decision to retire from the Alliance was made by the national and Managua departmental boards of directors of the PLN in meetings which took place during the past few days.
According to Enrique Sanchez Herdocia, one of the two PLN representatives to the Alliance, the decision was made because "it was ridiculous to continue in the National Coordination," since Aleman made their presence ineffective, making unilateral decisions without consulting the Political Coordination.
"He has become absolute, arrogant, and is forgetting who helped him win the elections," Sanchez said. "If Aleman is acting like this now," he added, "what will he do later, when he's president of Nicaragua?"
The other PLN representative, Pedro Joaquin Rios, who was elected as deputy to the National Assembly under the Liberal Alliance banner, chose to stay with Aleman. According to Sanchez, this effectively means Rios' resignation from the PLN, and his joining Aleman's party, the Liberal Constitutionalists (PLC).
Sanchez said the PLN is investigating rumors that Aleman promised Rios, who is being paid by the Alliance, that government posts would be given to Rios' relatives.
Meanwhile, Carlos Guadamuz, who lost the bid for mayor of Managua on the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) ticket, complained last week that the FSLN National Directorate sabotaged his campaign, encouraging FSLN sympathizers to vote for Herty Lewites instead of him. Lewites, a former FSLN member and ex-Tourism Minister under the Sandinista government, ran as an independent, although he is known to be allied with the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS). Lewites came in fourth in the mayoral elections, while Guadamuz came in third.
Guadamuz's assertion is countered by the fact that voters were bombarded during the entire election season by announcements, particularly on Guadamuz's own radio station, Radio Ya!, encouraging Sandinistas to vote a straight Sandinista ticket, and by the fact that, according to some observers, Guadamuz essentially bullied his way into the mayoral candidacy and was not seen as an effective candidate by many rank and file FSLN sympathizers.