Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega clinched a fourth consecutive term, results showed on Monday, after jailing political rivals ahead of a vote that prompted threats of sanctions from the United States and international calls for free elections.
Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council said that with nearly all the ballots counted, a preliminary tally had Ortega’s Sandinista alliance winning with about 76% of votes.
In the months leading up to Sunday’s election, Western and many Latin American nations had expressed deep concern about the fairness of the vote as Ortega detained opponents and business leaders and criminalized dissent.
Election observers from the European Union and the Organization of American States were not allowed to scrutinize the process and journalists were barred from entering Nicaragua.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said his country will work with other democratic governments and was ready to use a range of tools, including possible sanctions, visa restrictions and coordinated actions against those it said were complicit in supporting the Nicaragua government’s “undemocratic acts.”