Search

 

Cablegate: Nicaragua: Regional Election Aliances Formed, Fsln

VZCZCXRO6273
PP RUEHLMC
DE RUEHMU #0935/01 2711853
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 281853Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4593
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUMIAAA/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL//J2/J3/J5// PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MANAGUA 000935

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CEN KRAAIMOORE
DEPT FOR DRL MAGGIO
DEPT FOR INL/IIA ARCHULETA
STATE FOR USOAS
STATE FOR USAID

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/20/2019
TAGS: PGOV PHUM NU
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA: REGIONAL ELECTION ALIANCES FORMED, FSLN
KEEPS OPPOSITION SPLIT

REF: MANAGUA 859

Classified By: Ambassador Robert J. Callahan for reasons 1.4 (b & d)

1. (C) SUMMARY: On September 17, Nicaragua's Supreme Election
Council (CSE) published the list of authorized political
alliances for the March 7, 2010 Regional Elections in the
Atlantic Coast. There will be four main political alliances
and three Christian/Evangelical parties will run
independently. Despite previous efforts to foster opposition
unity, the main Liberal parties have registered separate
alliances and the CSE permitted a fourth alliance, comprised
of disgruntled opposition leaders, to run. Meanwhile the
Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) has assembled a
formidable alliance of five political parties and eight
political movements. Curious elements of the alliance
registration process and September 20 PLC primaries indicate
that the FSLN may be cooperating with the FSLN to ensure the
opposition remains divided and facilitate an FSLN victory in
a region that historically is anti-Sandinista. END SUMMARY

--------------
Four Alliances
--------------

2. (U) On September 17, the CSE published the lists of
electoral alliances for the Atlantic Coast region elections,
scheduled for March 7, 2010. There are four main alliances
between major political parties, and three political parties
will run independent of election alliances. The first
alliance, led by the FSLN, is also the largest and includes
five political parties (FSLN, YATAMA, National Liberal party
(PLN), Nicaraguan Resistance party (PRN), and Alternative for
Change party (AC)) and eight political/social movements
(Popular Conservative Alliance (APC), the Conservative
Traditionalist, Raising the Republic, the Nicaraguan
Democratic Resistance, Vote of Confidence, Evangelists in
Convergence, Indians of the Caribbean Coast (led by former
Contra turned Ortega operative Steadman Fagoth), and Catholic
Action movement). The second electoral alliance is the
Alliance for the Republic (APRE), which includes four
political parties (APRE, Citizen Action party (PAC), the
Liberal Independent party (PLI) faction led by Virgilio
Godoy, and a last-minute addition of the de-registered
Conservative Party). The third electoral alliance is that of
the Constitutional Liberal party (PLC), which includes four
political parties (PLC, the Neo-Liberal party (PALI), the
Central American Unionist party (PUCA), and the Multiethnic
Indigenous party (PIM)). The final electoral alliance is the
Liberal Nicaraguan Alliance (ALN), and it includes three
political parties (ALN, PLI faction led by Indalecio
Rodriquez, and the Costal Unity Movement party (PAMUC)). The
three independent political parties are the Nicaragua
Christian Way party (CCN), the Christian Democratic Union
party (UDC), and the Christian Unity Movement party (MUC).

--------------------------
No Liberal Unity After all
--------------------------

3. (C) In the regional elections, the opposition is divided
between two Liberal alliances, the PLC and ALN, and the third
alliance, APRE, which is comprised mainly of disgruntled
lesser opposition leaders from the de-registered Conservative
Party and which is unlikely to draw significant public
support. The division between the Liberal parties follows
months of public calls for Liberal unity in the regional
elections on the Atlantic Coast and earlier promising starts
(ref B) at unity between former 2006 presidential candidate
and current PLI leader Eduardo Montealegre and the former
President and PLC leader Arnoldo Aleman. By early September,
it became apparent that the two main Liberal parties would
not run jointly in the 2010 elections. On September 2,
Aleman told local media that the PLC would "go alone" and
ruled out publicly an alliance with Montealegre. On
September 4, the PLI and ALN reached an agreement to run in
alliance together under the banner of the ALN, but with the
PLI holding the legal representation of the alliance. As

MANAGUA 00000935 002 OF 003


late as September 10, one day before the alliances had to be
registered with the CSE, Aleman changed tactics and publicly
offered an alliance with Montealegre in the regional
elections, but on terms that would have greatly favored the
PLC's candidates. Montealegre rejected the alliance, leading
the PLC to publicly blame Montealegre for the Liberals'
"failure" to form a PLC-PLI alliance in the regional
elections.

4. (C) Our contacts on the Atlantic Coast told us that at the
local level there was wide agreement that all of the Liberal
forces should join to form one alliance, reminiscent of the
UNO alliance that defeated the FSLN in the 1990 elections.
Meetings between PLC, PLI/VCE, ALN, PAMUC, and even Yatama
no-Sandinista leaders ensued and in Puerto Cabezas unity
candidates had even been selected between the parties.
However, when PLC representatives contacted national party
leaders about the unity proposals, they were instructed to
end all negotiations immediately. One contact, working with
parties on the Atlantic Coast, lamented that local PLC party
leaders, while earlier expressing their support for unity,
were entirely beholden to Aleman for personal, financial and
political reasons and was therefore not surprised that they
pulled out of unity talks and backed Aleman's call for the
PLC to "go it alone."

5. (C) Opposition leaders and commentators have been at a
loss to explain how the CSE could register two separate
factions within the same political party, PLI, to be divided
between the APRE and ALN alliances. (Note: When Montealegre
joined the PLI earlier this year, a rump faction, led by
Virgilio Godoy and with support from Aleman, has resisted
Montealegre's leadership and has filed numerous legal motions
to regain control of the party. End Note.) CSE chief of
staff Rodrigo Barretto told us that they registered both
factions, in different alliances, so that the CSE "would not
be accused of interfering in internal party affairs" and
de-registering what might ultimately be the legal faction of
the party. He claimed the CSE wanted to avoid a repeat of
the crisis in 2008, when the CSE de-registered the
Conservative Party and the leftist Sandinista Renovation
Movement (MRS) and prevented them from participating in the
November 2008 municipal elections. Other commentators have
suggested that the third alliance will be used by the
FSLN-controlled CSE to siphon off votes from the two Liberal
alliances, especially in historically Liberal areas, to
ensure a broader FSLN victory.

6. (C) The PRN, the political party originally established by
ex-Contras and historically anti-Sandinista, has also further
divided the opposition vote by aligning with the FSLN. The
announcement, though not a surprise, was a disappointing blow
to local PRN members on the Atlantic Coast. The PRN has been
adrift and marginalized in recent yearsm, often serving as a
catalyst for Liberal division, and more recently lent its
overt support to the FSLN in defending the electoral fraud
during the 2008 November elections. The party's base has
been in disagreement with the Managua national leadership for
years and many members have left for the ALN, PLI/VCE or PLC
parties. PRN national leaders defended their decision to
join with their sworn enemy in the election alliance,
claiming that the real enemies to their party's continued
existence are the Liberals.

-----------------------
Another FSLN-PLC Pacto?
-----------------------

7. (C) Montealegre believes the PLC and the FSLN have renewed
their "pacto" power-sharing agreement to divide up the seats
in the regional elections. As evidence, he cited Aleman's
announcment for the PLC to go it alone and the decision of
the CSE (currently controlled by the FSLN with the support of
the PLC) to register two factions of the PLI in separate
alliances, ensuring that non-Aleman Liberals would be
divided. Most recently, reports of widespread fraud and vote
rigging in the PLC's September 20 "pimaries" reinforce the
preception of collusion between the PLC and FSLN in the

MANAGUA 00000935 003 OF 003


regional elections. There are growing accounts that the PLC
refused to include non-Aleman PLC members on the voting rolls
for the primaries while also permitting FSLN members to be
recorded on the PLC rolls and to cast votes. The PLC's
claims of high turnout in the primaries lends credence to the
reports of FSLN participation and casts doubts about the
integrity of the PLC primary process. The PLC reported on
September 22 that 55,888 people voted in the primaries,
approximately 14,000 more people than voted for the PLC in
the 2006 regional elections. In one area, the PLC claimed
three times more people voted in their internal primaries
than voted in total for the same region in 2006. According
to local contacts, the reported turnout is almost certainly
false, but even a modest increase in turnout would have only
been possible with the participation of FSLN party members.

-------
COMMENT
-------

8. (C) FSLN founder and current Ambassador to Peru Tomas
Borge told local press in early September that "anything can
happen in Nicaragua except for one thing - that the FSLN will
lose power again... We will do everything to remain in power,
whatever the cost." In the 2010 Atlantic Coast regional
elections, the FSLN appears to doing exactly that -- whatever
is necessary to ensure their victory. Through their control
of the CSE, they have manipulated the electoral process (ref
a) to disenfranchise voters by preventing access to cedulas
(identification cards) and again on September 17 in
manipulating the alliance registration process. In the
formation of alliances and their collective refusal and/or
inability to unite, the Liberals have made the FSLN's job all
the easier. The separate Liberal alliances will likely split
the opposition vote and increase the FSLN's chances to win in
both the North and South regions. Even if the elections in
the Atlantic Coast were free and clean, the votes will be
counted by the same CSE that perpetuated the election fraud
in November 2008, ensuring that the FSLN will have additional
opportunities to manipulate the final count if these previous
efforts fail to secure their victory. And, as happened in
the November municipal elections, it appears that Aleman is
once again the willing partner in the effort to subvert
Nicaragua's electoral process.

CALLAHAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 



World Vision: Covid-19 Surge Plunges Myanmar Into Humanitarian Catastrophe

Six months since the Myanmar military’s seizure of power, aid agencies are warning of a spiralling humanitarian catastrophe, triggered by skyrocketing Covid-19 cases and widespread violence. Covid-19 cases in Myanmar have doubled in the past two months... More>>


OECD: Annual Inflation Picks Up To 4.1% In June 2021

Year-on-year inflation in the OECD area increased to 4.1% in June 2021, compared with 3.9% in May. Inflation in the euro area was significantly lower than in the OECD area as a whole, and especially than in the United States...
More>>

World Vision: A Year On From Beirut Blast, Thousands Suffer Under Economic Collapse
In the year since the Beirut blast, a worsening economic crisis has vastly increased the numbers living in poverty, creating a worsening humanitarian crisis for Lebanon’s children, warns World Vision... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UN Africa Renewal: Energy Will Play A Critical Role In The Success Of Africa’s Free Trade Area

As a global leader and advocate for the achievement of SDG7, which calls for access to reliable, affordable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030, what three key things do African countries need to do to end energy poverty..? More>>



Food Systems: More Than 100 Countries Discuss Visions For Futures To Accelerate Global Action Ahead Of September Summit

More than 100 countries came together over the course of three-days to discuss how they will transform their national food systems to drive progress against the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030... More>>


Food Systems: Italian & Rwandan Leaders Join Urgent Call To Transform World’s Food Systems As Pre-Summit Begins

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame stress need for more inclusive, sustainable and holistic approaches ahead of the Summit in New York in September... More>>