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Nicaraguan Elections: Ortega’s Bid for a Third Term 

WHO:    American University experts from the School of International Service available to discuss Nicaraguan elections on November 6.

WHAT:  Available to analyze and comment on Nicaraguan Elections and Outcome Implications

WHEN: November 2-ongoing

WHERE: American University, in studio, or phone interviews

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 2, 2011) – If Daniel Ortega wins re-election in Nicaragua for an unprecedented third term on November 6, the Sandinista Liberation Front president may use this opportunity to challenge U.S. hemispheric aims.  Since the revolution in 1979, the country, Ortega, and the Sandinistas have changed; however, the Sandinistas’ desire to remain in power has not changed despite the explicit denial of a third term in the country's constitution. The pathway to total victory–winning the presidency and the congress–  is facilitated by the weak, splintered opposition to Ortega  and the fact that the incumbent need only win 35 percent of the popular vote plus a margin of 5 percent over his nearest challenger to avoid a run-off election.

American University Experts are available for analysis before and after this Sunday’s elections.

Philip Brenner, a senior professor in the U.S. Foreign Policy program, is available to discuss what needs to be done to improve relations between the U.S. and Nicaragua.  Brenner is an expert on Central America, Cuba, and the Caribbean and is well versed in issues in the region.

Louis Goodman, professor of international relations and dean emeritus, is available to discuss President Ortega’s support by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.  Additionally, he can address Ortega’s well-funded campaign, in contrast to the disarray among the opposition. Goodman observes despite Ortega’s strong polling numbers, “While it looks like Ortega will win, he thought he would in 1990 and he lost to Violetta Chamorro, so he will likely campaign hard to the end.”

Robert Pastor, professor of international relations and co-director for the Center for Democracy and Election Management, wrote the definitive book on US-Nicaraguan relations Not Condemned to Repetition: The US and Nicaragua (Westview Press, 2002).  Pastor was the National Security Advisor in the White House during the Sandinista Revolution and organized the Carter Center's monitoring of the first free election in Nicaraguan history in 1990.

Amb. Anthony Quainton, distinguished diplomat-in-residence at American University, served as the U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua (1982-1984) during his diplomatic career.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.