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Ortega set for big victory in Nicaragua elections, Perez wins Guatemala

Early results indicate Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega has won a third term in yesterday's presidential election, while former army general Otto Perez Molina has won the presidential run-off in Guatemala.

Ortega nicaragua elections 0Enlarge
Supporters of Nicaraguan President and presidential candidate Daniel Ortega celebrate following the presidential election in Managua on November 6, 2011. Former Marxist guerrilla leader Daniel Ortega won a third term in office, according to his wife and spokeswoman, after partial results gave him a strong lead in presidential polls. (ELMER MARTINEZ/Associated Press)

Early results indicate Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega has won a third term in yesterday's presidential election, while former army general Otto Perez Molina has won the presidential run-off in Guatemala.

Nicaragua's Supreme Electoral Council said Ortega has nearly 64 percent of the votes, compared to 29 percent for his nearest challenger, Fabio Gadea, according to early results Monday morning, the Guardian reported.

Read more on GlobalPost: How Nicaragua's president got on the ballot

The result follows a controversial Supreme Court ruling allowing Ortega – a former Marxist guerrilla leader – to stand for a third successive term.

Ortega’s lead was bigger than that projected by opinion polls, with supporters of Gadea accusing Ortega's Sandinista party of manipulating the electoral process, Reuters reported.

Nine people were injured when violence broke out during voting in northern Nicaragua.

International election observers reported problems with access to voting stations, along with complaints of voting irregularities, The Associated Press reported.

A team from the European Union that investigated the complaints was due to release a report on Tuesday.

Read more on GlobalPost: The world's most unequal countries

Meanwhile further north, in Guatemala, electoral officials said the former army general Otto Perez Molina has won the presidential run-off race.

Perez Molina took 55 percent of the vote, with almost all ballots counted, while main rival Manuel Baldizon received 45 percent, the BBC reported.

The former army general, running for the right-wing Patriotic Party, will be the first former military figure to rule since Guatemala’s civil war ended in the 90s.

Guatemala is a key transit point for drugs from South America to the United States, the BBC reported, adding that both candidates had promised to fight crime and the presence of Mexican drug gangs.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/111107/ortega-perez-win-presidential-election