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Cablegate: Carter Center Cop Shares Our Concerns Over Cedula

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMU #2445/01 3062350
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 022350Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8114
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAGUA 002445

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR WHA/CEN, WHA/USOAS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/02/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR KDEM NU
SUBJECT: CARTER CENTER COP SHARES OUR CONCERNS OVER CEDULA
DELIVERY, ORTEGA,S PREEMPTING VICTORY

REF: MANAGUA 02442

Classified By: Ambassador Paul A. Trivelli. Reasons 1.4 (B,D).

1. (C) SUMMARY: Carter Center COP Jaime Aparicio shares
Ambassador's concerns that probably over 100,000 Nicaraguans
will not possess national/voter IDs (cedulas) or temporary
voting documents required to vote on November 5 and that
Ortega may self-declare his victory -- which would be
followed by election night violence. Although Aparicio
expects some fraud on election day, he believes most of it
has already occurred: Nicaragua's politicized electoral law
favors the traditionally dominant Sandinista Liberation Front
(FSLN) and Liberal Constitutional Party (PLC). He is
confident that robust observation and the Etica y
Transparencia's quick count will prevent major fraud vis a
vis the presidential election, but fears that the CSE could
finagle with the results of the National Assembly elections
to favor the FSLN and PLC. Aparicio's recent public
statements have been on the mark and he claims the Carter
Center will call irregularities as it sees them. While
President Carter appears to have lost some of his cachet with
Ortega, he probably continues to be the foreigner who could
exert the most influence on the FSLN candidate if the need
arises. END SUMMARY.

CEDULA AND TEMPORARY VOTER DOC DELIVERY REMAINS A PROBLEM
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. (C) In their November 2 meeting, the Ambassador and
Carter Center COP in Managua Jaime Aparicio concurred that
problems with cedula and temporary voting document deliveries
could prevent tens of thousands of Nicaraguans from voting on
November 5. The Ambassador shared his recent conversation
with a member of the OAS observer team, who estimated that
over 100,000 Nicaraguans would not be able to vote because
they have not received the necessary documents. (NOTE: This
estimate tracks with IFES estimates. END NOTE.)

MOST OF THE FRAUD HAS ALREADY BEEN COMMITTED
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

3. (C) Aparicio, who expects some fraud to occur on election
day, quipped that most of it has already occurred and only
the "technical adjustments" remain. He explained that
Nicaragua's politicized electoral law favors the
traditionally dominant Sandinista Liberation Front (FSLN) and
Liberal Constitutional Party (PLC) -- according them control
over the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE), the voting tables
(JRVs) and computation centers, and the ability for a
candidate to win the election with only 35% of the valid
votes counted. He dismissed the possibility of widespread
fraud on election day, noting he is confident that robust
observation and Etica y Transparencia's quick count will
prevent major fraud vis a vis the presidential election.

4. (C) Aparicio did not rule out the finagling of National
Assembly candidate results to favor the FSLN and PLC. For
example, fewer than 2,000 votes could determine the outcome
of a departmental National Assembly seat, explained Aparicio.
(NOTE: FSLN-PLC complicity regarding the assignment of
Assembly seats could be expected in that the leadership of
both parties seeks to continue their power-sharing pact. END
NOTE.) Aparicio also shared our concern that the CSE could
skew early results to favor Ortega.

CARTER CENTER WILL CALL IRREGULARITIES AS IT SEES THEM
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

5. (C) Aparicio assured the Ambassador that the Carter
Center will be alert, denouncing irregularities as it sees
them and will call for calm if violence erupts. He will
suggest that President Carter urge Ortega to refrain from
declaring early victory and from resorting to violence -
noting that President Carter is prepared to stay long enough
to calm down any violence he sees and to await the CSE's full
count.

M&R POLL SUGGESTS MONTEALEGRE IS THE ONLY CANDIDATE WHO COULD
DEFEAT ORTEGA
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

6. (C) Raising his recent conversation with M&R pollster
Raul Obregon, Aparicio ventured that Liberal Nicaraguan
Alliance candidate Eduardo Montealegre is the only candidate
who can possibly defeat Daniel Ortega. He shared our view
that the PLC's smear campaign has been effective in lowering

Liberal Nicaraguan Alliance candidate Eduardo Montealegre's
numbers in the polls, especially in the more rural, northern
departments -- but not enough to position Rizo as Ortega's
closest competition.

COMMENT
- - - -

7. (C) Aparicio's recent public statements have been on the
mark and generally more assertive than the OAS EOM's
messages. While President Carter appears to have lost some
of his cachet with Ortega, he probably continues to be the
foreigner who could exert the most influence on the FSLN
candidate if the need arises.
TRIVELLI

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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