Ortega wins Nicaragua presidential vote | india | Hindustan Times
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Ortega wins Nicaragua presidential vote

Ortega, 60, won 38.07 per cent of the vote, with 91.48 per cent of voting precincts counted, the electoral council said.

india Updated: Nov 08, 2006 12:44 IST

Former US-Cold War foe Daniel Ortega won Sunday's presidential election in Nicaragua, the electoral council said.

Ortega, 60, won 38.07 per cent of the vote, with 91.48 per cent of voting precincts counted, the council said.

Conservative candidate Eduardo Montealegre came in second with 29 per cent of the vote, followed by also conservative Jose Rizo with 26.2 per cent.

Ortega has won the Nicaraguan vote outright, since by law he had to secure at least 35 per cent of the vote and a five-point lead on his closest rival.

"The results favor Daniel Ortega, whom I've called to congratulate," Montealegre, of the National Liberal Alliance, said in a speech conceding defeat.

"He has been elected democratically and will have to govern so," Montealegre added, hinting at Ortega's murky past as President of Nicaragua's leftist Sandinista government from 1979 to 1990.

Guatemalan President Oscar Berger was the first international leader to applaud Ortega's victory.

"We respect the will of the Nicaraguan people and congratulate Daniel Ortega," he said told reporters in Guatemala City.