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Cablegate: Sit Rep 4 - Nicaraguan Elections

VZCZCXRO5246
PP RUEHLMC
DE RUEHMU #2491/01 3132240
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 092240Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8180
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANAGUA 002491

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CEN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/09/2016
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR KDEM NU
SUBJECT: SIT REP 4 - NICARAGUAN ELECTIONS

REF: MANAGUA 2473 AND PREVIOUS

Classified By: Ambassador Paul Trivelli for reasons 1.4 (b and d)

1. (C) Summary: With PLC candidate Jose Rizo finally
conceding defeat to FSLN candidate Daniel Ortega, the
attention of the political parties and observers has now
turned to the National Assembly race. Rizo continues to
insist that the PLC has enough uncounted rural votes to
overcome ALN candidate Eduardo Montealegre for a second place
finish in the Presidential vote (and an extra seat in the
Assembly). The latest results from the ET quick count
indicate that the PLC has closed in on the ALN, but still
remains more than two points behind with 95 percent of the
sample set reporting. End Summary.

PLC Closes Gap, but Remains in Third Place
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. (C) Local NDI Director Deborah Ullmer shared the results
of Etica y Transparencia's updated quick count with emboffs.
ET and NDI do not plan to release the results publicly due to
the discrepancy with the PLC vote totals -- please protect.
(Comment: We may negotiate a release if further
irregularities arise. End Comment.) With 95 percent of the
sample set reporting (total 1,200 JRVs), the results are as
follows:

FSLN: 37.35%
ALN: 28.72%
PLC: 26.14%
MRS: 7.01%
AC: 0.38%

3. (C) For the most part, the results track closely with the
CSE vote totals and the earlier sample set. The PLC,
however, gained 1.99 points, beyond the projected 1.7% margin
of error from the last sample set. NDI could not explain the
discrepancy -- they claim that rural areas (generally
considered PLC strongholds) were not/not undercounted in the
previous sample set.

4. (U) Despite widely reported late JRV openings, Ullmer
explained that the November 5 outcome was a significant
improvement over the last national elections in 2001.
According to Ullmer, 70 percent of JRVs began opening
organizational procedures on time, versus 30 percent in 2001.
Moreover, 17 percent of JRVs opened for voting by 7:00 a.m.,
versus only six percent in 2001. Formally trained CSE poll
workers staffed 95 percent of JRVs (this is the first time
that JRV-level officials received formal training).

5. (C) NDI and ET have shifted attention to the National
Assembly race. NDI expects to have a preliminary report on
the deputy races and vote result challenges (impugnaciones)
by Friday.

Balance of Power in the National Assembly
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

6. (C) Zenalia Madrigal, the ALN official responsible for
vote tabulation, told polcouns on November 8 that the ALN has
tabulated 94 percent of JRV results (10,500 out of 11,274).
According to ALN results, the margin between the ALN and PLC
in the Presidential race is 4.12 percent. (Comment: In
addition to the psychological benefit of coming out ahead in
the presidential race, the second runner up also receives a
seat as a deputy in the National Assembly. End Comment.)
Madrigal believes that the ALN will win 24 to 27 seats in the
Assembly (5 to 6 from the national list, and 19 to 21
departmental deputies) in addition to 5 to 6 Parlacen seats.

7. (U) On November 9, "El Nuevo Diario" published predicted
National Assembly results, with 15 seats still undecided.
The following is a summary of the paper's predictions:

- FSLN: 31 seats total. National deputies: Myriam Arguello,
Tomas Borge, Rene Nunez, Alba Palacios, Brooklyn Rivera,
Walmaro Gutierrez, Gustavo Porras. Departmental: Nery
Sanchez (Madriz); Francisco Valenzuela, Martha Maria Gonzalez
(Esteli); Nasser Silwany (Masaya); Jose Martinez (Carazo);
Maria Lidia Mejia (Granada); Venancia Ibarra (Rivas); Ramon
Villagra (Jinotega); Jose Thompson (RAAN); Marcelino Garcia,
Hipolito Torres, Doris Garcia (Chinandega); Juan Gabriel
Hernandez, Gladys Baez, Ramon Sarria (Leon); Pedro Haslam,
Sadrach Zeledon (Matagalpa); Augustin Jarquin, Evertz
Carcamo, Iris Montenegro, Jasser Martinez, Edwin Castro,

MANAGUA 00002491 002 OF 002


Xochilt Ocampo, Jose Figeroa (Managua).

- ALN: 23 seats total. National deputies: Maria Eugenia
Sequeira, Jamileth Bonilla, Salvador Talavera, Alejandro
Bolanos Davis, Indalecio Rodriguez. Departmental: Eliseo
Nunez (Masaya); Wilber Lopez (Carazo); Edgar Vallejos
(Granada); Alejandro Ruiz, Norman Guevara (Rivas); Elman
Urbina (Chontales); Carlos Lagrand (Leon); Roberto Callejas,
Eduardo Gomez, Cesar Augusto Zamora (Chinandega); Pedro
Joaquin Chamorro, Jorge Matamoros, Ramiro Silva, Carlos
Garcia, Adolfo Martinez (Managua). (Note: Salvador Talavera
left the ALN in September to sign a governability agreement
with the FSLN, though he refused to resign his candidacy. He
has since pledged to form his own caucus from former
Resistance members -- see septel. In addition, outgoing
President Bolanos and second runner up Presidential candidate
Eduardo Montealegre will receive seats in the Assembly in the
ALN caucus. End Note.)

- PLC: 19 seats total. National deputies: Jorge Castillo
Quant, Francisco Aguirre Sacasa, Enrique Quinonez, Maria
Dolores Aleman, Guillermo Osorno. Departmental: Rodolfo
Alfaro (Madriz); Ramon Gonzalez, Marina Vargas (Chontales);
Luis Ortega Urbina (Boaco); Alan Rivera (Jinotega); Carlos
Olivas (Rio San Juan); Victor Manuel Duarte (RAAN); Francisco
Jose Sacasa (RAAS); Maximino Rodriguez, Freddy Torres,
Porfirio Castro (Matagalpa); Wilfredo Navarro, Leopoldo
Navarro, Miguel Melendez (Managua).

- MRS: 4-5 seats total. National deputies: Victor Hugo
Tinoco, Dora Maria Tellez. Departmental: Monica Baltodano,
Mario Valle, Enrique Saenz (Managua).

8. (U) MRS Presidential candidate Edmundo Jarquin called on
the opposition parties (ALN, PLC and MRS) to join forces and
destroy the PLC-FSLN pacto, defend democracy, fight
corruption, and seek development for the population. MRS
president and Assembly candidate Dora Maria Tellez claimed to
have evidence that the FSLN will attempt to steal two
Assembly seats from the MRS through electoral irregularities.

9. (U) On November 9, Eduardo Montealegre published a letter
to the Nicaraguan people pledging to work with the Ortega
government for the benefit of the country. The letter tracks
with the speech he delivered publicly on November 7.
Montealegre called for his "Liberal brothers" in the PLC to
join forces with the ALN and offered to forgive and asked
forgiveness for the offenses committed by both sides during
the campaign.

PLC Unrepentant
- - - - - - - -

10. (U) PLC leaders continued to insist through November 8
that they had enough votes to force the FSLN into a second
round of voting. CSE president Roberto Rivas consequently
criticized the PLC for failing to recognize Ortega as the
victor and accused PLC leaders of "stirring up trouble." On
the morning of November 9, PLC Presidential candidate Jose
Rizo finally conceded that Ortega will be the first round
winner. He continued to insist, however, that the PLC will
gain enough support from the uncounted rural votes to beat
out the ALN for second place. (Comment: CSE, ET, ALN and
other sources indicate that this outcome is extremely
unlikely, although the gap will narrow somewhat. End
Comment.) On a morning talk show, PLC finance manager
Gilberto Wong ignored Montealegre's call for reconciliation
and blamed the U.S. Embassy and the Nicaraguan private sector
for the PLC's defeat.

Comment
- - - -

11. (C) We are closely monitoring the CSE's final tabulation
of the vote results for the presidential and the legislative
races, specifically how they will influence which
presidential candidate places second and the allocation of
Assembly seats for the ALN and MRS. The PLC is in all
certainty "pressuring" pact mate FSLN to make determinations
in its favor to the detriment of the ALN, while the FSLN
would prefer to limit the number of MRS seats in the
Assembly. Observer missions and NGOs share our concerns. In
the event these manipulations occur, we must be prepared to
confront them.
TRIVELLI

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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