Elections and Events 1990-1995


Anderson, Leslie 2005: “Embracing electoral choice: political discourse and the 1990 campaign” (pages 77-107).

Fauriol 1990: “Despite the proliferation of parties and candidates, once the campaign season was underway the race quickly narrowed. On the one side stands the incumbent Sandinista regime…The principal opposition…is the [UNO]. The Sandinista campaign platform has attempted to turn voter attention away from disastrous economic management and ensuing living conditions…For its part, UNO has portrayed the race as a near-referendum on Sandinista rule—its corollary is to promise a better national future under UNO governance” (page 1).

Establishing the ground rules: a report on the Nicaraguan electoral process 1989: Provides background for the 1990 elections.

Kampwirth 2004: “Joining the Sandinista-affiliated women’s movement, AMNLAE, whose roots could be traced to the guerrilla period, and the women’s secretariats, which grew up in response to the contra war, was a third branch: independent, or autonomous, feminism. This third way—which explicitly rejected links to parties and unions—was an unintended outcome of the debates that led up to the 1987 constitution and a reaction to the 1989-90 electoral campaign” (page 35).

Keesing’s record of world events February 1990: “The electoral campaign, which had begun on Dec. 4, ended on Feb. 21, and was attended by an estimated 2,500 international observers including representatives of the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the European Parliament and a United States team led by the former President, Jimmy Carter. Both side fought intensive and costly campaigns and most opinion polls showed the FSLN well ahead of the UNO right up to the last minute” (page 37236).

Nicaragua ’s elections—a step toward democracy? 1989: Includes information about candidates, political parties, campaign themes, polls, electoral laws and procedures, electoral regions, and other “essential election information” for the 1990 election.

Olivera 1992: “La paz se transformó en el tema principal de las elecciones de 1990 cuya expresión concreta era la eliminación del Servicio Militar Patriótico (SMP). Al mismo tiempo se planteaba un mejoramiento de la crisis económica, como resultado de la paz” (page 143). “En esta sección queremos ofrecer un análisis de las plataformas electorales de la [UNO] y del [FSLN] para determinar lo que prometían a las mujeres en caso de resultar electos. Hemos excluido del análisis a otros partidos porque no fueron serios contrincantes por el poder” (pages 145-146). Analysis is on pages 146-155. “La imagen de la mujer en la campaña: manipulación de su subordinación” (pages 162-167).

Smith 1993: “The US-sponsored contras continued their forays into Nicaragua during the campaign and FSLN activists were a particular target. In one two-week period in January 1990 the Ministry of Defence reported 99 armed confrontations with contras in which 49 contras died” (page 14).

Spalding 1994: “(U)nlike in the elections in 1984, the opposition to the Sandinistas was now both committed to participating in the election and largely united in its effort. The Group of 14, composed of fourteen political parties that opposed the FSLN, successfully negotiated a series of agreements with the government over campaign rules, media access, advertising, financing, and international observation. This group formed a coalition called UNO to challenge the regime” (page 118). Describes the process by which Violeta Chamorro is selected as UNO’s presidential candidate (pages 118-119). Describes the FSLN’s electoral campaign (pages 119-121).

Vanden 1997: “From 1982 to 1990, Nicaragua experienced a Contra war that cost 30 000 lives and in excess of $12 billion in economic losses, a total US economic embargo from 1985 on, and the continual threat of direct US invasion” (page 49).

Walker 2000: “(T)he demobilization of the Contras and the bulk of the national armed forces threw tens of thousands of young men—with little training or experience in anything except violence—into the streets. Though the Chamorro administration promised former combatants land and resettlement benefits in the peace agreements of 1990, it ultimately fell far short of fully meeting these obligations. Sporadically, throughout the 1990s, rearmed Contras (‘Recontras’), former Sandinista military (‘Recompas’), and mixed units of both (‘Revueltos’) engaged in renewed guerrilla activity or banditry in rural areas” (page 79).

Zub K. 2002: “La caracteristica principal del campo protestante nicaragüense es su rápido crecimiento en la década del ’80, el pluralismo doctrinal y su fragmentación. Existen más de 200 denominaciones y grupos independientes que representan una diversidad teológica, política y social. La gran mayoría pertenecen a movimientos pentecostales y neo-pentecostales” (page 17).

February 25: general election (Barrios de Chamorro / UNO)

Alcántara Sáez 1989: “Resultados de las elecciones del 25 de febrero de 1990" (page 211). Gives for four parties the percent of the vote and seats won. “Paralelamente a las elecciones para la presidencia de la República y a la Asamblea Nacional, se llevaron a cabo comicios municipales en los que UNO ganó 99 de los 131 municipios del país” (page 211).

Anderson, Leslie 1995: Gives percent of registered voters who voted and percent of vote for UNO and FSLN (page 89). “Nicaraguan elections: survey results, prediction, and actual vote” (page 93). Tracks survey data for FSLN and UNO, actual vote for FSLN, UNO, and all other parties, and abstentions.

Booth 1990: “The historic victory of UNO’s Violeta Barrios de Chamorro over the FSLN’s Daniel Ortega by a 55 to 41 percent margin may well have marked the end of the Sandinista revolution. Nicaraguan voters did in one day what the U.S.-backed contras were unable to do in nine years of war--remove the FSLN from ruling power. The United States, however, was deeply responsible for the UNO victory because its economic embargo and the contra war had generated the two major issues of the campaign--Nicaragua’s dismal economy and the highly unpopular military draft” (page 48).

Booth 1991: Discusses the 1990 election.

Booth 1999: “(E)conomic destabilization and collapse, promoted by a combination of revolutionary public policy and the hostile actions of U.S. administrations, led ultimately to the 1990 electoral defeat of the Sandinistas and their replacement by the government of U.S.-supported Violeta Barrios de Chamorro” (page 38).

Brown 1995: “In sum, the transition to democracy in Nicaragua was short-circuited in 1990 by Chamorro and the Bush administration’s failure ‘to seize the moment.’ The 1990 elections, once seen as a massive victory for Western democracy against all odds, are now viewed by many Nicaraguans as a failure or, at best, a limited success” (pages 5-6).

Brysk 2000: “A reconstituted YATAMA swept 1990 elections for the regional autonomous zones and has struggled to establish itself as a development agent and defender of regional prerogatives” (page 81).

Butler 1997: Describes the results of the 1990 elections in the autonomous zones (pages 228-231).

Central America report 2 March 1990: “The presidency and majority control of the national assembly were transferred from a party that won state power for its leading role in the overthrow of the Somoza dictatorship to the National Opposition Union (UNO), a broad coalition whose 14 member organizations share little more in common than the task of defeating Sandinismo. Most analysts agree that the UNO victory marks the consummation of the US government’s military, economic and political efforts to overthrow the Sandinistas” (cover).

Chinchilla 1994: “The election itself has been interpreted by some as evidence that Latin American women are politically conservative because some sectors of women, particularly housewives, voted disproportionately for the winning opposition presidential candidate, Violeta Chamorro. But as Sandinista feminists have pointed out, both the FSLN and the opposition (UNO) candidate projected traditional images of women” (page 187). Describes the electoral campaign and its outreach to women (page 188).

Chronicle of parliamentary elections and developments 24 1990: For the February 25, 1990 election “held for all the seats in Parliament following premature dissolution of this body” gives the “characteristics of Parliament,” the electoral system, the background and outcome of the election, and the results, including the distribution of seats according to sex (pages 127-129).

Close 1995: “Nicaraguan National Assembly, 1990” (page 55). Gives the number of seats won by each party.

Close 1999: “The 1990 race saw more political than administrative problems, but there were war zones where, as six years before, registrations could not be held and the vote itself was in jeopardy until the last moment” (page 181).

Country report. Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama 1990, 2: “The general elections of February 25 confounded predictions by producing a handsome victory for the opposition Unión Nacional Opositora (UNO) coalition led by Violeta Chamorro. UNO took 54.7 per cent of the presidential vote, while Daniel Ortega of the [FSLN] won 40.8 per cent. The Yatama Party of the Atlantic coast Miskito Indians, which was allied to the Partido Social Cristiano (PSC), won one of the seats for the North Atlantic coast region. The only other party to win more than 1 percent of the vote was the Movimiento de Unidad Revolucionaria (MUR), led by Moises Hassán, the former Sandinista mayor of Managua. In the National Assembly UNO won 51 seats, the FSLN 39, the MUR 1 and Yatama/PSC 1. The two extra seats over the assembly’s allotted figure of 90 correspond to the seats guaranteed to losing presidential candidates who recorded more than 1 per cent of the vote, in this case Daniel Ortega and Moises Hassán” (pages 15-16). Gives additional results.

Derechos de las mujeres en Nicaragua: un análisis de género 1996: “En 1990 del total de votos válidos, el 49% fue de mujeres. En la votación para Presidente y Asamblea Nacional, constituyeron el 52% del voto. El % de mujeres baja considerablemente de las listas de candidatas a las listas de electas. Eje.: del 25% al 17% para la Asamblea Nacional en 1990" (page 160). “En 1990, ciento siete mujeres fueron electas como concejalas propietarias y ciento cincuenta, como suplentes, representando el 13.2% y el 18.7% respectivamente...En las elecciones de 1990, nueve mujeres fueron electas en el Consejo Autónomo del Atlántico Norte y cinco en el Atlántico Sur, representando 9.4% y 5.2% respectivamente, para un total de 14.7% de participación de las mujeres en el nivel máximo de sus gobiernos locales” (page 165). Gives the number of women who were candidates for congress and municipal councils and the number who were elected (page 166).

Dunbar-Ortiz 1990: “For the most part, the vote reflects the persistent animosity between the Miskito Indians and the Mestizos, Spanish-speaking settlers from western Nicaragua who inhabit the region. As might be expected, most of the Miskito vote in the northeast went to YATAMA, the previously exiled Miskito organization that had warred against the Sandinistas, while the Mestizo vote went to the Sandinistas. Despite this split, a fifth of the Miskito voters did vote for the FSLN” (page 15). “1990 election results: Autonomous Regional Councils” (page 19).

Dunkerley 1994: “ Nicaragua, general, February 1990" (page 150). Gives abstention rate, candidate and party, number and percent of votes, and seats won.

Election data 1990: Gives a wide range of statistics, including election results at the regional level for president/vice president, National Assembly, and number of municipalities controlled by UNO and FSLN.

Elections on the Atlantic Coast: where politics moves on slippery turf 1997: Discusses the 1990 general election on the Atlantic Coast and gives results (page 33).

Electoral democracy under international pressure 1990: “ (T)he 1990 election includes, for the first time, the election of two regional autonomous assemblies” (page 15). “Presidential election voting results” (page 34). Gives total registered voters, total vote, total valid vote, “turn out rate,” and “null vote rate.” Gives number of municipalities won by UNO and FSLN (page 35). “Results of the 1990 presidential election” (page 36). Gives the number of votes and percent of vote by party in each region. “Results of the 1990 National Assembly election” (page 37). Gives the number of votes, percent of vote, and seats won by each party in each region. “Nicaraguan elections 1990: candidates for president and vice-president” (page 54). “ Nicaragua--elected officials 1990" (pages 108-109). Gives president, vice-president, “representatives of the National Assembly by region and party alliance,” and “representatives to the Assembly by national election quotient.”

Elecciones en Nicaragua 1990: This is a collection of essays by various writers discussing the 1990 elections. “Resultados electorales” (pages 139-140). Gives the composition of the Parlamento Nacional with the percent of vote, number of votes, and number of seats won by four parties or alliances; percent of vote in each region for each party; and number of seats for each party in the Consejos Autónomos. “Municipios con victoria Sandinista” (page 141). Lists all municipalities in which the Sandinistas won a majority of council seats.

Envío October 1989: “On February 25, 1990, the two regions of the Atlantic Coast will elect their first autonomous government in history” (page 17).

Envío March/April 1990: Describes the results of the 1990 election on the Atlantic Coast (pages 17-20).

Fauriol 1990: Describes the issues that have affected this election.

Fiallos Oyanguren 2000: “Las elecciones de 1990” (pages 256-259). “Las elecciones de Consejos Regionales Autónomos de las Regiones del Atlántico” (pages 262-263).

Figueroa Ibarra 1994: Describes the issues involved in the campaign and election of 1990 (page 73-76).

González-Roura 1990: En noviembre de 1990 los “nicaragüenses fueron…llamados a votar…para elegir presidente y vicepresidente de la Nación, 90 representantes ante la Asamblea Nacional, más de 900 concejales municipales y, por primera vez, 45 miembros de los consejos de las regiones autónomas de la Costa Atlántica creados por el Estatuto de Autonomía de 1987” (page 17). “Las elecciones de febrero de 1990 encontraron a Nicaragua sumida en una grave crisis socioeconómica…Agravaban esta situación el embargo comercial establecido por los Estados Unidos en 1985 y la disminución de la ayuda financiera de los paises de la comunidad europea a partir de 1986” (page 19). “La organización política de Nicaragua y el poder electoral” (pages 20-21). “El proceso electoral” (pages 21-28). “La jornada electoral” (pages 29-31). Gives “resultados generales” (page 29) and gives the number and percent of valid and null votes, total registered voters, and abstentions (page 31).

Goodman 1992: “Legislative assembly elections, Nicaragua, 1990" (page 379). Gives party and number of seats won.

Grigsby Vado 2003: “Although municipal autonomy has appeared as a constitutional precept since it was included in the 1893 Constitution…, it only began to be exercised in practice in 1990, when municipal councils were elected for the first time” (page 20).

Hale 1994: “In the elections of 1990, which served to constitute the autonomous governments of the Coast, Miskitu people voted overwhelmingly in favor of candidates from YATAMA, the successor organization of MISURASATA” (page 196).

Herrera Zúniga 1994: Discusses the election of 1990 and the events surrounding it (pages 113-129).

Horton 1998: “The elections” (pages 258-263). “Departmental election results by urban and rural sectors, 1990” (page 261).

Hoyt 2004: “Alemán was elected to the coveted post of mayor of the nation’s capital and largest city, Managua. From that base, he was able to enlarge his party’s influence and his own power base” (page 18). “Alemán used the resources from the mayor’s office to expand the PLC as a national organization loyal to him. Where the PLC’s original support came from that sector of the bourgeoisie that was most damaged by the Sandinista government…, the party built a nationwide, organized grassroots base, not unlike the Sandinistas’, based on the country’s poor” (page 19). “(T)he PLC has strayed from Liberal ideology by allying itself with Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church” (page 20).

Ideologies in conflict: platforms of four Nicaraguan political parties 1989: Describes the platforms of the major parties in the 1990 elections.

Informe de la misión de observación 1990: “Total de ciudadanos inscritos según región electoral (al 26 de octubre 1989)” (page 29). Gives region, number of polling stations, number of voters registered, and percent they constitute of total registered voters. “Comportamiento electoral general” (page 41). Gives number of valid votes and percent they constitute of total votes, number of null and blank votes and percent they constitute of total votes, and number of abstentions and percent they constitute of total registered voters. ”Total general para presidente” (page 42). Gives by region the total number of polling stations, registered voters, polling stations reporting, votes cast, null votes, valid votes, and number of valid votes for each party. “Total general para Asamblea Nacional” (page 42). Gives by region the total number of polling stations, registered voters, polling stations reporting, votes cast, null votes, valid votes, and number of valid votes for each party.

Isbester 1999: “After the election the women’s movement split between those who wanted to maintain a close connection with the FSLN and those who saw an opportunity for autonomy and a self-created identity” (page 194).

Isbester 2001: “Despite the role of any number of organized women’s groups, it is difficult to suggest that the FSLN deserved to win. It badly bungled the election campaign for the simple reason that it did not address women’s issues, and, according to more than one commentor, it was women who decided the results of the 1990 election. Women’s anti-Sandinista vote was the result of three factors” (page 96). Discusses the three factors (pages 96-98). “The UNO alliance had fifty-one of the ninety-two seats in the National Assembly, and the FSLN won thirty-nine seats. The profile of women in the Congress changed dramatically. Surprisingly, more women were elected to the Congress, although fewer of them were from the FSLN. The number of female representatives rose from thirteen to fifteen, nine of whom were from the FSLN, and, of them, five were incumbents…The remaining six representatives were sent by five different parties, all more conservative than the FSLN” (page 99). “In 1990, [Arnoldo Alemán] was elected the mayor of Managua, a position he held until becoming president in 1996…Throughout his tenure, Alemán publicized how much he was getting done versus the stalemated National Assembly” (pages 175-176).

Kagan 1996: “The more than 90 percent of registered voters who cast their ballots had given Chamorro 55 percent to Ortega’s 41 percent” (page 715).

Keesing’s record of world events February 1990: “Registration was obligatory but voting was optional. The President was elected by simple majority, while members of the National Assembly were elected on a regional proportional basis, each party or alliance presenting a list of candidates in each of the nine regions and the number of deputies elected depending on the population of the region...Defeated presidential candidates who won at least 1 per cent of the total vote were entitled to an extra seat for their party in the National Assembly so that the final overall number of deputies could exceed 90...In the simultaneous elections to the 90-member National Assembly, the UNO won (according to preliminary results ) 52 seats with 54.8 per cent of the vote. Voting also took place for 140 municipal councils and two new 45-member autonomous regional councils in the Atlantic Coast region” (page 37236).

Kirk 1992: “The extensive analysis of the causes of the UNO victory indicates that Nicaraguans voted for the Chamorro ticket mainly because of two factors: a desire for peace and a hoped-for end to the deteriorating economic situation” (page 183).

Kuant 1990: “On February 25, 1990, municipal councils will be elected in the 143 municipalities existing in Nicaragua. According to the electoral law, the mayor of each municipality will be chosen by each council” (page 18). “Political parties and their presence in the municipalities” (page 18). Gives by region the number of candidates for municipal council from each party in the 1990 election.

LeoGrande 1992: Gives percent of presidential vote and seats in the National Assembly won by UNO and the Sandinistas (page 197).

López Castellanos 1996: “Las elecciones presidenciales de 1990” (pages 29-65). “Resultados presidenciales y legislativos por regiones electorales” (page 56). “Resultados presidenciales por partido” (page 57).

López Pintor 1991: “Resultados de las elecciones presidenciales nicaragüenses del 25 de febrero, 1990" (page 343). Gives number of registered voters; number and percent of registered voters who voted; number and percent of votes cast that were valid or not valid; and number and percent of votes cast for ten parties. “Composición del Congreso Nacional” (page 343). Gives number of seats won by three parties.

Luciak 2001: “(T)he February 1990 elections took place before the Contras had demobilized. Thus they were not given the opportunity to participate in the electoral process as an organized political movement. Initially, the great majority of the Resistance viewed Chamorro’s victory as their own. It soon became evident, however, that the Contras lacked effective advocates in the new government” (page 139). “For the national elections of 1990, the FSLN presented nineteen female candidates and fifteen substitutes” (page 208).

Manual electoral del periodista 1996: “Datos elecciones 1990” (page 13).

Merrill 1994: Gives percent of presidential vote won by UNO and FSLN (page 50). Gives congressional seats won by UNO and FSLN (page 150). “Municipal governments have introduced a new element to Nicaraguan politics that promises to substantially decentralize political power and influence. Established by the Law on Municipalities adopted by the Sandinista National Assembly in August 1988, the first municipal governments were selected in 1990...Under the provisions of the law, citizens vote directly for council members; the number of these depends on the size of the cities. Once elected, council members select their own leader, the mayor" (page 151).

Metoyer 2000: “Election day 1990” (pages 47-50). “The 1990s elections” (pages 99-101). “Of the 1,632 candidates who ran for legislative office, 404 (25 percent) were women. The 1990 elections showed that public office was as much for women as it was for men” (page 116).

Millett 2000: “Beginning in 1990, Nicaraguans elected municipal officials directly. The powers of municipal government were strengthened, and mayors became the most important local political figures” (page 462).

Mujeres latinoamericanas en cifras: Nicaragua 1993: “Para las elecciones de 1990 postularon dos mujeres como candidatas a la Presidencia de la República y una de ellas fue electa para el período 1990-1996, con el 55% de los votos. Así, Violeta Barrios de Chamorro es hoy la primera mujer presidenta en la región centroamericana” (page 96). “Candidatos a la Asamblea Legislativa por sexo, según partido político, 1990" (page 97). “Participación femenina en los concejos municipales, según región, elecciones de 1990" (page 98). “Candidatos a concejales en los municipios, por sexo según partido político, 1990" (page 98).

Municipal autonomy in Nicaragua 1990: “With the February 25 elections, Nicaragua launched a new phase of government. Municipal councils were elected in 131 municipalities (a unit which includes major cities or towns and their surrounding rural areas) nationwide. As in the elections for President/Vice President and National Assembly, the UNO coalition candidates swept most of the municipal councils, winning 100 to the FSLN’s 31. Despite the historical nature of Nicaragua’s first ever municipal elections and the power potentially available to local governments, these elections received very little attention” (page 33).

Municipalities: where democracy is born 1997: “1990: First direct election of Municipal Councilors since revolution; they elected the municipal mayor from among themselves. Their term of office was six years but the mayor could be replaced at any time by a majority vote of councilors” (page 21).

Muñiz 1990: “Voters are electing not only a president and a vice-president, but also 90 representatives to the National Assembly and, for the first time in Nicaraguan history, representatives to 143 municipal councils and representatives to regional councils in the two newly-created autonomous regions on the Atlantic Coast” (page 8). “Nicaraguans will directly elect their local authorities for the first time. The 1988 Law on Municipalities provides for the direct election of municipal councils. Council members in turn elect from among themselves a mayor…In the larger municipalities half the council seats go to the party that receives the most votes even it it receives only a plurality. The remaining half of the sats are allocated among the parties, including the one with the most votes, roughly according to the proportion of the vote that each received in the election…There will be no municipal elections in the two autonomous regions of the Atlantic Coast” (page 10). “In 1990 a regional council will be elected in each autonomous region. Each will have 45 members or three representatives elected from each of the region’s 15 districts on the basis of proportional representation. In addition the National Assembly delegates from each region (three from RAAN, two from RAAS) will be full voting members of their respective regional councils…Apart from the FSLN, none of the national parties has a strong presence on the Atlantic Coast. Popular petition candidacies are permitted, however. In the RAAN, a region-wide alliance of such candidates, the Candidates for Costeño Unity (CUC), has been formed. The CUC will contest all 45 council seats” (page 11).

Navigating the electoral map 1989: “Nicaraguan opposition parties” (page 14). Gives name of party, most well-known leader, and position in 1989-1990 campaign.

The 1990 elections in Nicaragua and their aftermath 1992: Includes information on electoral campaigns and other aspects of the election. “Electoral results 1984 and 1990” (pages 222-226). Gives percent of valid votes and percent of registrants by department for FSLN, opposition, and abstention.

The observation of the 1996 Nicaraguan elections: a report of the Council of Freely Elected Heads of Government 1996: “The 1990 Nicaraguan elections were pivotal because, for the first time in Nicaragua’s history, all major political parties stayed in the race and accepted the outcomes, and the transfer of power from one party to another was peaceful” (page 14).

Observing Nicaragua’s elections, 1989-1990: report of the Council of Freely-Elected Heads of Government 1990: “Summary of voting sites (JRVs) observed by delegation of Council of Freely-Elected Heads of Governments” (page 22). “Presidential vote results by party” (page 27). Gives total voting sites, total registered voters, total voting sites reporting, total voters, total invalid votes, total valid votes, and number of votes and percent of vote for each party. “Distribution of UNO seats in the National Assembly” (page 28). Gives number of seats won by each party in the coalition. “Presidential, legislative, municipal, and autonomy council results by region” (page 29). Gives number of votes and percent of vote for UNO, FSLN, and “other” in each race.

Olivera 1992: “Resultados de las elecciones: la nueva lucha contra la subordinación” (pages 167-173). “Representación de las mujeres en la Asamblea Nacional, 1990-96” (page 169). Gives results by region and party. “Representación de las mujeres en las municipalidades, 1990-96” (page 170). “Como viven las mujeres el poder en el ambito público” (pages 175-193). Summarizes interviews with successful women candidates.

Orozco 2002: “Daniel Ortega’s call for international observers involved the entire electoral process, not only the voting itself” (page 86). “Issues considered for electoral monitoring” (pages 87-88).

Ortega Hegg 2001: “En las elecciones para Presidente y Vicepresidente de la República, Representantes ante la Asamblea Nacional, Concejales Municipales y Miembros de los Consejos Regionales Autónomos del Atlántico Norte y Sur de 1990 intervinieron un total de 21 partidos políticos” (page 129). Lists the parties and electoral alliances. “En el ámbito municipal fueron electas 10 mujeres como alcaldesas de igual número de municipios de un total de 131 que fueron electos” (page 133). “(D)e un total de 1,790 concejales propietarios y suplentes a elegir, los partidos presentaron un total de 4,725 candidatos, de los cuales 998 eran mujeres, lo que equivalía al 21.12% del total. En los resultados electorales el 14% de los concejales propietarios electos fueron mujeres, así como el 18.86% de las suplentes” (page 133). “En cuanto a las elecciones regionales para los Consejos Regionales Autónomos de 1990, fueron electas un total de 14 mujeres para un 15% del total de 90 concejales electos” (page 134).

Patterson 1997: “Alemán, who had become Mayor of Managua in 1990, soon emerged as one of the most viscerally anti-Sandinista leaders in the coalition. Running a city of over a million inhabitants, he was able to use the municipal tax base together with substantial amounts of foreign aid to build up a national profile as an activist, populist figure” (page 384).

Payne 1996: “In February 1990, in one of the most heavily monitored elections ever, Chamorro, backed by Washington, won the presidency with 54.7 percent of the vote to 40.8 percent for Ortega. UNO won 51 seats in the National Assembly, the Sandinistas 39, and 2 seats went to smaller parties. UNO won in nearly two-thirds of the municipal races” (page 3).

La política es aún un campo dominado por los hombres 1997: “En 1990 por vez primera en los anales del país se eligió autoridades para el poder local. De un mil 790 autoridades municipales a elegir, participaron un total de 4,725 candidatas y candidatos, de los cuales 898 eran mujeres, 19 por ciento; del total de concejales propietarios(as) electos sólo el 14% eran mujeres y en el caso de las suplencias, las mujeres alcanzaban el 18 por ciento” (page 12). “Autoridades Municipales electas (1990)” (page 13). Gives the number of women in each category. Discusses the results of the 1990 election (pages 60-62).

Reding 1991: “The 1990 elections” (pages 39-44).

Ryan 1995: “The 1990 elections and democracy” (pages 170-188).

Serra Vázquez 1995: “En las elecciones participaron 23 partidos, 14 de ellos integrados en la Unión Nacional Opositora apadrinada por USA. Estas elecciones fueron súper-vigiladas por cientos de observadores, 240 de la ONU, 450 de la OEA y decenas de otros organismos invitados. Se registraron un estimado de 88% de los votantes y del total de votos válidos un 55% votaron por la UNO y 41 por el FSLN” (page 287).

Smith 1993: “The ethnically-based political association YATAMA took 22 seats in the newly created North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) compared to 21 for the FSLN. UNO held the balance with just 2 seats. In the South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS) UNO gained an overall majority with 23 seats compared to the FSLN’s 19 with YATAMA taking the remaining 3 seats” (pages 9-10). Describes the electoral campaign, the elections, and the aftermath (pages 10-30).

Spalding 1996: “According to one Assembly report, of the ninety-two members elected to the legislature in 1990, seventy-eight had resigned, been expelled, or been suspended from their political parties by March 1995" (page 8). “The UNO coalition swept the 1990 elections at every level. Not only was Chamorro elected president with 55 percent of the vote, but UNO also received 54 percent of the vote in the National Assembly contests, giving it fifty-one of ninety-two seats, and it won control of 99 of the 131 municipalities” (page 12).

Stansifer 1998: “The 1990 elections not only gave Nicaraguan citizens the opportunity to choose their president and representatives in the National Assembly but also provided them an opportunity freely to elect, for the first time in fifty years, municipal council members. Residents of the Miskito Autonomous Zone, for the first time in a long history of tension between the Atlantic and Pacific regions of Nicaragua, nominated their own candidates and elected their own leaders” (page 131).

Stein 1997: “During the 1990 election campaign the Church was accused of openly taking the side of the Chamorro-UNO candidacy. Bishops and priests denied this allegation but granted that they gave general guidelines for voting according to the teachings of Catholicism…When determining whether the Church was officially in favor of the UNO coalition, a distinction has to be made between the personal partisan and ideological preferences suggested by the statements and actions of key ecclesiastical leaders and the official position of the Church itself. While particular bishops and priests may have openly supported the UNO candidates, other priests supported the FSLN” (pages 239-240).

Vanden 1997: Describes the 1990 election.

Vílas 1990: “Resultados de las elecciones del 25 de febrero de 1990, por región” (page 133). Gives by region votes and seats won by UNO, FSLN, and “otros.” “Resultados por región de las elecciones del 25 de febrero de 1990" (page 134). Gives number of regions, district governments, and municipalities won by UNO, FSLN, and “otros” in the presidential election and congressional election.

Vilas 1990a: Discusses the 1990 election. “Nicaragua: resultados de las elecciones del 25.2.90, por región” (page 350). Gives valid votes for president/vice president and congressional seats for each party in each region.

Vilas 1990b: Discusses the 1990 election. “Resultados de las elecciones del 25 de febrero de 1990, por región” (pages 133-134). “Principales encuestas preelectorales” (page 141).

Weaver 1991: “The 1990 campaign” (pages 136-139).

Zub Kurylowicz 1993: “Sobre el comportamiento electoral de los evangélicos se ha especulado mucho por diversos analistas y en distintos círculos” (page 58). Discusses results of a post-election survey on voting patterns by Protestant denomination (pages 58-67).

February 26

Chronicle of parliamentary elections and developments 24 1990: “On 26 February, outgoing President Ortega conceded defeat, noting that he would ‘respect and obey the popular mandate’” (page 128).


Booth 1999: “As lame ducks in 1990, the FSLN government passed unseemly laws transferring much state property to top Sandinistas (dubbed ‘la piñata’)” (page 97).

Close 1995: “Because it enjoyed a two-to-one majority in the National Assembly, the FSLN was able to push through a lot of lame-duck legislation before handing over the state to its new managers” (page 49). “All of this legislation was designed to protect Sandinista interests and Sandinistas themselves” (page 50). “Chamorro’s first task was to prepare for the transfer of power…On March 27, 1990…the text of the Protocol for the Transfer of the Executive Power of the Republic of Nicaragua [was released]” (page 56). Describes the provisions. The “Sandinistas’ ‘piñata’…was the name given to acts passed by the lame-duck Sandinista National Assembly to secure the property rights mentioned in the transition accords…It was not so much that the legislation protected a peasant on a few acres of scrubland or a woman and her kids in a little house in Managua; these were expected. But when Daniel Ortega got title to one of Managua’s fanciest mansions and the rest of the Sandinista hierarchy did nearly as well, battle lines were drawn” (page 57).

Country report. Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama 1990, 2: “In the weeks before Sra Chamorro’s inauguration, the FSLN rushed a number of important legislative changes through the National Assembly, aimed at bolstering the FSLN in opposition and restricting the new government’s powers. Up to 15,000 houses and plots of land confiscated from Somoza…and his associates have been transferred from the state to Sandinista militants” (page 17).

Patterson 1997: “The core of the Protocol was that in return for the new administration accepting the existing leadership structures of the army and police, these institutions would respect the authority of the new government and a substantial reduction in size” (page 382). “Because of the profound shock that the electoral defeat had given to a party which was complacently expecting victory, and the resultant demands from some militants that the results be disregarded, the loyalty of the army—with over 80,000 members in 1990—and of the police were clearly of great concern to the new administration…However, for many of the leaders of the UNO parties, the Protocol was an unacceptable compromise with the FSLN, leaving powerful vestiges of the Sandinista regime in place. The result was an increasingly bitter conflict between the president and the majority of parties in her coalition who criticized her for acquiescing in ‘co-government’ with the Sandinistas” (page 383). “In the period of transition between the elections in February 1990 and the new administration’s assumption of office in April, the outgoing administration put two pieces of legislation through the National Assembly…It very quickly became apparent that these laws covered a wholesale process of appropriation of state property by departing Sandinista officials—everything from houses to jeeps and computers. This process became known as ‘la piñata’…The issue of ‘la piñata’ was a key factor in the post-election debates in the FSLN which were to culminate in bitter internal conflicts and a split in 1995. The property issues provided a powerful cement between the Chamorro government and the FSLN elite” (pages 386-387).

March 23

Close 1999: “On 23 March 1990…the first of what would be a long series of deals [Toncontín Agreement] with all or part of the demobilized forces was concluded in Honduras” (page 95).


Brown 1995: “The final twist that set in place the current correlation of political forces in Nicaragua came after the 1990 election. The new president of Nicaragua, Violeta Barrios Torres viuda de Chamorro, retained as that country’s security forces the Popular Sandinista Army (EPS). She also kept as EPS commanding general Humberto Ortega, brother of the defeated Sandinista president. Those acts, together with multiple political, economic, and social problems her government could not or did not resolve, led to a split between Chamorro and the Union Nacional Opositor (UNO) that had supported her election” (pages 11-12).

Butler 1997: The Autonomy Statute’s “language was left too imprecise to protect the fledgling autonomous governments from the neoliberal central government voted into office in 1990” (page 227). The “Chamorro administration, ignorant of and opposed to autonomy, refused to accept the regional governments’ lists of names to head ministry offices in the two regions…In addition, key elements that had been set aside so the regional governments could participate…also fell victim to the new central government, which shelved them” (page 228).

Chronicle of parliamentary elections and developments 24 1990: “The new National Assembly was sworn in on 24 April, and the President and Vice-President the next day” (page 128).

Close 1999: “What began on 25 February as a famous victory for the UNO had taken a curious turn by 25 April. In just two months a successful electoral alliance had fallen to infighting and showed signs of fragmenting, because the executive and legislative parts of the new UNO administration had conflicting agendas and appeared incapable of devising mechanisms to reconcile their differences” (page 48). “In 1990 the National Assembly was composed of ninety members elected by proportional representation from nine administrative regions, plus the defeated presidential candidate of the two losing parties (Daniel Ortega, FSLN; Moises Hassan, MUR) that received over one-ninetieth of the vote” (page 69).

Close 2004: “The electoral alliance that Chamorro led to a resounding victory…was a fourteen-party grab bag of anti-Sandinistas of all stripes, from Communists to Conservatives. The unwieldy group never became a fully fledged governing coalition, let along a unified party, and eventually turned against the woman who had led the ticket to power. As a result, the Chamorro administration’s six-year term was marked by continual conflict between the president and the National Assembly, producing perhaps the weakest executive in the nation’s history” (page 7).

Country profile. Nicaragua, Honduras 1993-1994: “Mrs Chamorro took office on April 25…Within days of her election, divisions opened up between Mrs Chamorro and her vice-president, Virgilio Godoy, who was supported by the bulk of the UNO party. The source of the disagreement was Mrs Chamorro’s decision to seek an accommodation with the Sandinistas” (page 10).

Prevost 1997: “The [ Atlantic Coast autonomy] process is under direct challenge from the Chamorro government…Rather than seeking any formal reversal of the Autonomy Statute, the central government has simply ignored the law and created its own approach to the region. In April 1990, Chamorro created the Institute for the Development of the Atlantic Coast (INDERA) and appointed former Miskito Contra leader Brooklyn Rivera as its head” (page 29). “The electoral alliance that included Vice President Virgilio Godoy of the PLI did not even last until the government assumed power in April 1990. Godoy never actually assumed any real duties as Vice President. Along with his party and several others, Godoy has moved into the opposition on the grounds that Chamorro and Lacayo were making too many concessions to the Sandinistas during the transition process” (page 35).

Spalding 1994: “In April 1990 Violeta Barrios de Chamorro was inaugurated as president of Nicaragua…Given the close ties between Chamorro’s electoral coalition and the United States, it was widely assumed that the new government would attempt to undo the revolution and move the country in a classically liberal direction” (page 156).

Vanden 1997: “Godoy was rapidly eclipsed by Chamorro’s son-in-law, Antonio Lacayo. Upon her inauguration, he assumed the office of Minister of the Presidency. Thereafter he operated as ‘de facto’ head of government, performing most of the executive functions for the president (who was more head of state than head of government)” (page 63).

Zub K. 2002: “Al asumir la presidencia, Chamorro restableció las relaciones con la iglesia Católica…En el período Chamorro, varios fueron los hechos por los cuales los protestantes se sintieran marginados y como ciudadanos de segunda clase” (page 56). Gives examples (pages 56-59). “Por lo tanto, la participación e interrelación fluida que se tuvo bajo el régimen sandinista, se ha perdido” (page 58).


Close 1999: “It was late May 1990 when the first serious, concrete proposal [Managua Protocol] for dealing with demobilized contras came forth” (page 96).


Horton 1998: “Nicaragua’s decade-long war formally ended on 27 June 1990, when top contra leaders and several thousand of their remaining troops gathered in the town of San Pedro de Lóvago to hand their weapons over to President Chamorro” (page xii).

Vanden 1997: “One of the [FSLN’s] first responses was to convene a Sandinista Assembly in June 1990 to assess the party’s errors and prepare for the future. The 300 delegates (most were elected by party militants) met in the town of El Crucero and passed several lengthy resolutions in which they confronted the party’s errors and began to chart a new course” (page 62).


Isbester 2001: “In July 1990, workers and peasants staged a three-day national strike, which threatened to topple the government” (page 108).

Williams 1994: “(D)uring the July 1990 general strike leaders of UNO, COSEP, and Sandinista trade unions refused to play by the ‘rules of the game’ agreed upon in the transition accords” (page 181).


Isbester 2001: “In August, the Transition Protocol was announced. It stipulated that the FSLN would continue to control the army and the police and that the incoming government would respect the 1986 constitution” (page 108).

Luciak 2001: “A few months after the 1990 national elections, the FSLN relaxed its membership criteria and established the category of party affiliate. By August 1990, the FSLN reported 60,398 affiliates in addition to 35,349 traditional members” (page 121).


Bautz 1994: The Partido de Justicia Nacional (PJN) and the Grupo de Convergencia are formed in late 1991 (page 23).

Close 1999: “The first ‘Rearmados’ were ‘recontras,’ who appeared early in 1991. Their return sparked the rearming of demobilized Sandinista troops, who became the ‘recompas.’ Eventually, recompas and recontras joined forces in some places and became the ‘revueltos’” (page 96).

Country profile. Nicaragua, Honduras 1993-1994: In “1991, many former Contras, unhappy that they had failed to obtain the land to which they felt they were entitled, started to form armed gangs known as ‘recontras’” (page 10).


Kampwirth 2004: “The one sector of the women’s movement that was actually helped (at least in the long run) by the Sandinistas’ electoral loss was…the autonomous feminists…It was almost a year after doña Violeta took office when they finally responded to the opportunity created by the new political era…The Festival of the Fifty-Two Percent, held the weekend of March 8, 1991, was a critical turning point. It represented a definitive and public break between AMNLAE and other currents within the women’s movement…The official candidate [for the office of national coordinator], Gladys Baez, a former guerrilla commander and high-level FSLN leader, was unanimously elected. Those congress participants who had expressed their unhappiness at AMNLAE’s political style were to defect to the Fifty-Two Percent shortly afterward” (pages 56-57).


Hoyt 2004: “The First Party Congress in July of 1991 made the Sandinista Assembly the highest organ of the party between Congresses. The National Directorate split on important issues—many but not all of them occurring between a social democratic current and a more orthodox, vanguardist current—with consensus harder to reach” (page 24).

Isbester 2001: “Because more women than men voted for the UNO and thereby assisted the FSLN’s fall from power, women activists within the FSLN wanted the Party to reflect on why it had lost the women’s vote. The male leadership of the FSLN felt no need to reflect on this issue. Instead, the FSLN blatantly excluded women from the National Directorate in its 1991 leadership Congress. Voters could not vote for individual candidates, only the entire slate of candidates” (page 127).

López Castellanos 1996: “El Congreso de 1991” (pages 99-102).

Smith 1993: “The FSLN’s first ever Congress, held in July 1991, agreed [to] changes which included the election of the Sandinista Assembly (previously appointed) which would meet twice a year and would be given the status of the party’s most authoritative decision-making body. A Party Congress would meet every four years which would be representative of the 18 local party congresses. A National Directorate (DN) of ‘up to 11’ members would continue to run the party in between assemblies” (page xx).

Vanden 1997: “The general delegates were elected through local assemblies and the National Directorate was to be elected for the first time. However, rather than voting for individual members of the National Directorate, the delegates could only cast their ballots for a pre-selected slate. In this way the very popular candidacy of Dora María Téllez never came to a vote before the congress and the National Directorate continued to be an elite, all-male club” (page 62).


Bautz 1994: The Partido Ecuménico de Rehabilitación al Agraviado (PERA) is organized in 1992 (page 23).

Zub K. 2002: “(E)l Partido de Justicia Nacional (PJN) [es] organizado en 1992 por un grupo de laicos profesionales de clase media y jóvenes en su mayoría integrados por miembros de las [Asambleas de Dios]” (page 63).


Close 1999: “In January 1992, the government reached a deal on disarmament with a majority of both recontras and recompas. Within three days, however, Yatama, the Miskito front, returned to armed struggle” (page 97).


Kampwirth 2004: The Comité Nacional Feminista (National Feminist Committee) is formed in May 1992 and is joined by the members of twenty-five organizations (page 65).


Dunkerley 1996: “(I)n July 1992 $116 million in US aid was frozen in protest at the Chamorro government’s failure to restructure the security forces and the EPS” (page 68).


Close 1999: “On 19 August, Northern Front 3-80, a recontra group that would stay in business for the duration of the Chamorro years and even into the Alemán administration, took forty-one people hostage in Quilalí, in northern Nicaragua” (page 97). Describes the group leader’s demands. “What he got was a retaliatory kidnapping of the Political Council of the UNO the very next night. The Dignity and Independence Commando, a recompa group, held Vice President Virgilio Godoy [and others]…The standoff was soon resolved peacefully. Though rearmed groups maintained their operations (more banditry than politics) throughout the administration’s remaining years, the country did not return to the brink of chaos. However, this owed as much to popular exhaustion as to new governmental initiatives” (pages 97-98).


Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras 1993, 1: In September “39 members of the [FSLN] and eight deputies from the ruling [UNO] walked out of the National Assembly in protest against [the president of the National Assembly, Alfredo César]…Mr César…replaced the missing deputies with their alternates and in some cases appointed new alternates in what amounted to a legislative coup. He then proposed a national referendum on the presidency…With the executive refusing to recognize the National Assembly, the country entered a period of constitutional paralysis” (page 9).


Bautz 1994: “The Movimiento Evangélico Popular (MEP) is organized in November 1992 (page 23).

Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras 1993, 1: “As 1992 neared its end the US government and the Supreme Court combined to avert the posible collapse of the Chamorro government…(T)he Supreme Court ruled that Mr César’s actions had been illegal and that all assembly decisions since September 2 were invalid” (page 9).

Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras 1993, 2: “The division that has plagued the ruling [UNO] coalition ever since Mrs Violeta Chamorro won the presidency has finally resulted in splitting of the coalition. Shortly after Mrs Chamorro’s victory in the Supreme Court over her opponents within UNO, the UNO leadership responded by formalizing its separation from the government” (page 10).

Zub K. 2002: “(C)omo antítesis al PJN, nació el Movimiento Evangélico Popular (MEP), en cuyas filas se concentró la izquierda evangélica más radical, proveniente de estratos sociales más pobres” (page 63). “En 1992 [Miguel Angel Casco] es fundador del [MEP] y su presidente” (page 89).


Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras 1993, 2: “(O)n December 30 President Chamorro ordered the police to occupy the assembly premises and installed an interim commission of three Sandinistas and one UNO member” (page 9).


Close 1999: “(T)he FSLN’s National Assembly caucus, while still led by Sergio Ramírez in 1993, was a key player promoting constitutional reforms that were vigorously opposed by the administration” (page 111).

Luciak 2001: “By 1993, several political parties had formed that explicitly claimed to represent the demobilized Resistance…Edén Pastora, a Sandinista commander who betrayed the FSLN and became the head of the Contra Southern Front, formed the Movimiento de Acción Democrática” (page 140).

Pérez-Baltodano 2004: “By 1993, the Church was openly opposed to the politics of the Chamorro government vis-à-vis the FSLN” (page 89).

Spalding 1996: “By 1993 the extreme antagonism of the three major blocs (Chamorro government, UNO, and FSLN) had produced political paralysis. The sense of legitimacy that was afforded to elected officials in 1990 because of the democratic process through which they were chosen was of short duration. Each of the government’s actions was considered illegitimate by some sizable political bloc” (page 13). “Between the 1990 election and early 1993, the number of military personnel dropped from 40,000 to 15,250" (page 16).


Country profile. Nicaragua, Honduras 1993-1994: “The conflict within UNO came to a head in January 1993 when the bulk of the UNO coalition formally separated from Mrs Chamorro, renaming itself the Alianza Política Opositora (APO)” (page 10).

Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras 1994, 2: “In January ten of UNO’s 14 original member parties formed the Alianza Política Opositora (APO). The other four parties have remained loyal to the president and constitute the eight-member ‘Centre Bloc’ which, along with 39 [FSLN] deputies and one independent deputy, give Mrs Chamorro 48 votes in the 92-seat National Assembly” (pages 10-11).


Electoral observation Nicaragua, 1996 1997: “The Citizen Identification Law, passed by the National Assembly on January 27, 1993, and approved by the Executive on March 5 of that year, establishes that the valid document validating the right to vote is the identity card. This law also defines the scope and jurisdiction of the CSE in the issuance of identity cards to citizens, establishing the power to set schedules, the competent authorities at the various administrative levels, and the general components and features of the issuing process” (page 11).

Nicaragua election observation report, October 20, 1996 1997: “In 1993, the CSE initiated the process of citizen identification registration, or ‘cedulación.’ The national identity document (‘cédula’) was intended to serve multiple functions, among them being the voter registration document” (page 11).


Luciak 2001: “In May [of 1993], the Partido Resistencia Nicaragüense…obtained legal status” (page 140).


Hoyt 1997: “(P)erhaps making a virtue of necessity since the FSLN could no longer support it financially, AMNLAE, at its August 1993 assembly, declared itself an autonomous movement that was not subordinate to any political party” (page 67).


Close 1999: Chamorro’s “decision to announce the termination of General Humberto Ortega’s term as military chief of staff in September 1993 did not sit well with the Sandinistas, illustrating the limits of the supposed alliance” (page 111).

Country profile. Nicaragua, Honduras 1996-1997: “In September 1993 a new amnesty was granted to all ‘recontras’ and ‘recompas’ who had given up their arms” (page 14). “September 1993: The Sandinistas back a national transport strike” (page 15).


Samper 1998: “(E)l Consejo Supremo Electoral…convocó el 19 de octubre de 1993 a las segundas elecciones de Miembros de los Consejos de las Regiones Autónomas del Atlántico Norte y Sur para el domingo 27 de febrero de 1994…La inscripción en la Costa Atlántica fue masiva, ya que pese a las condiciones de la zona, por diversas razones las más dificiles de Nicaragua, en la [RAAN] y en la [RAAS], se inscribieron 59,789 y 34,136 ciudadanos respectivamente. Esto es el 84% del estimado del Instituto Nicaragüense de Estadísticas y Censos de ciudadanos hábiles para el norte y el 83% para el sur” (pages 197-198).


Brown 1995: “Following four years of ‘democratically’ elected governance, the Nicaragua of 1994 can be described as an unconsolidated nation-state returned from an experiment in revolution to a political structure dominated by a traditional patriarchate. The version of that patriarchy that dominates Nicaragua today is essentially an updated form of the nineteenth-century Nicaraguan political system” (page 10).

Coleman 1997: The “name of the Somocistas’ PLN was reclaimed in late 1994 by a few Nicaraguans who sought registration as a party and joined the Liberal alliance in time for the 1996 elections” (page 172).

Isbester 2001: “(T)he conference of ‘Las Mujeres Autoconvocadas’…was one day long, with the goal of consensus that 50 percent of the FSLN nominees in the 1996 elections would be women…After the conference, AMNLAE, the unions, and the rest of the Sandinista women’s groups organized around the demand for 50 percent representation. This demand was included as an issue for discussion in all of the regional and local meetings before sending a representative to vote at the 1994 Extraordinary Congress” (pages 171-172).

Prevost 1997: “For four years the meagre resources allotted for the coast were channeled through INDERA rather than the regional Autonomous Councils. The Managua government used INDERA to divide the different coast groups by pitting them against each other. With shifting political alliances, both regional governments passed motions rejecting INDERA in 1994, and the central government eliminated the agency and proceeded to carry out all programmes for the coast through national-level ministries” (page 29). “At the time of the [1990] elections there were about 96 000 soldiers and by mid-1994 the number stood at 17 000” (page 31).

Valdés 2000: “En 1994 se contabilizaba 14 alcaldesas en las 143 alcaldías del país, es decir, un 9,8% del total” (Anexo: Participación política de las mujeres en los últimos 20 años: Nicaragua).

February 25

Dunkerley 1996: “Following bloody exchanges in January, a peace deal was signed on 25 February 1994 between the government, the EPS and the recontra Northern Front 3-80, the last remaining rebel band” (page 69).

February 27: election in Atlantic Autonomous Regions

Butler 1997: “1994—the second round” (pages 231-233).

Central America report 4 March 1994: Discusses the election and gives results (page 4).

Cerdas Cruz 1996: “ Nicaragua: results of 1994 elections for the northern Atlantic region” (page 28). Gives number/percent of votes for each party. “ Nicaragua: results of 1994 elections for the southern Atlantic region” (page 29). Gives number/percent of votes for each party.

Close 1999: “The presence of armed bands and a generally underdeveloped infrastructure combined to complicate the 1994 regional elections on the Atlantic coast” (page 181).

Close 2004: “[Arnoldo] Alemán had…been one of the figures involved in the revitalization of the [PLC], a dissident splinter of the old Somoza Liberal party that had survived the Sandinista period only to find itself teetering on the verge of irrelevance. By 1994, when elections in the autonomous regions of the Atlantic Coast were held, however, the PLC had emerged as a leading anti-Sandinista political force” (pages 10-11).

Coleman 1997: “In the 1994 elections in the two Autonomous Regions of the Atlantic Coast, the PLI did not offer an independent slate of candidates; rather, it supported a slate representing UNO. That slate did poorly, finishing a distant third in the Southern Autonomous Region and in a dismal, totally noncompetitive eighth place in the Northern Autonomous Region” (page 171). The PLC “ran its own candidates in the Atlantic Coast regional elections. In those 1994 contests the PLC was the major winner, demonstrating surprising electoral strength. In both Autonomous Regions it won a plurality of the valid vote (35.2 percent in the North and 35.5 percent in the South)” (page 172).

Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras 1994, 2: “On February 27 the northern and southern regions of the Atlantic coast went to the polls, each to choose a 45-member council, which in turn will elect a governor. The Atlantic coast makes up nearly half of Nicaragua’s territory, but contains only 10% of the population with most of the inhabitants speaking English or Indian dialects” (page 10). “The results gave the right-wing [PLC] 35% of the vote, compared to the 27% obtained by the [FSLN]. The local group YATAMA…was third, with 16.9% of the vote. The ex-contras were represented in the newly formed Partido de la Resistencia Nacional (PRN) and obtained only 5.8% of the vote” (page 11).

Derechos de las mujeres en Nicaragua: un análisis de género 1996: “Para 1994, en el Atlántico Norte, de cuarenta y cinco personas electas para el Consejo Autónomo, solamente nueve son mujeres, (15%) y, en el Atlántico Sur, solamente seis mujeres fueron electas, (13%). Se cuenta con una participación femenina de 16.6% de un total de noventa representantes” (page 165).

Elections on the Atlantic Coast: where politics moves on slippery turf 1997: “In 1994 their [Stedman Fagoth, Brooklyn Rivera] faction fight within YATAMA became electoral when Fagoth and others in his wing ran as Regional Council candidates for Arnoldo Alemán’s Constitutionalist Liberal Party, and won” (page 32). Discusses the 1994 election (pages 32-33).

Fisk 1998: “Election results, council seats” (page ii).

Fonseca L. 1994: “De acuerdo a cifras oficiales del Consejo Supremo Electoral (CSE), en el Atlántico Norte ejercieron el voto 45 mil 317 pobladores, de un total de 59 mil 789 inscritos. El abstencionismo fue de un 24,20 por ciento…En el Atlántico Sur, mientras tanto, de 34 mil personas inscritas, 26 mil 587 ejercieron el voto. El abstencionismo fue del 22,02 por ciento” (pages 2-3). “Porcentajes de las votaciones finales” (page 3). Gives percent of vote in each region for five parties. “Distribución de escaños” (page 4). Gives the number of council seats won by five parties in each region.

Núñez Vargas 1994: “El sistema electoral” (pages 15-16). El RAAN y el RAAS “están conformados por 45 miembros cada uno. Los representantes son elegidos en 15 circunscripciones electorales de cada región, a razón de 3 por cada una” (page 15). “Los miembros de los Consejos Regionales son elegidos por un período de cuatro años y…mediante un sistema de representación proporcional, obtenido por cociente electoral” (page 16). “Actores políticos participantes en las elecciones regionales de la Región Autónoma del Atlántico Norte” (page 19). Gives type of organization, name, and acronym. “Actores políticos participantes en las elecciones regionales de la Región Autónoma del Atlántico Sur” (page 20). Gives type of organization, name, and acronym. Gives total registered voters in both regions, total population eligible to vote, and percent registered (page 21). “Resultados de las elecciones regionales de la Región Autónoma del Atlántico Norte” (page 23). Gives for each party the number of votes, percent of vote, and seats won. “Resultados de las elecciones regionales de la Región Autónoma del Atlántico Sur” (page 24). Gives for each party the number of votes, percent of vote, and seats won.

Núñez Vargas 1996: “(E)l aspecto más novedoso fue el triunfo del [PLC] de Arnoldo Alemán, por encima de fuerzas locales como el YATAMA o partidos de mayor tradición en la zona y el país, como el FSLN. Complementariamente, se constata el debilitamiento de la UNO como fuerza política nacional…En la [RAAN], el PLC obtuvo el 34.13% de los votos (19 escaños en el Consejo Regional), el FSLN un 27.83% (también 19 escaños) y YATAMA—organización local-un 20.75% para 7 escaños. En la [RAAS], la victoria del PLC fue más amplia, llegando a 34.17% (18 escaños), en relación con el 23.80% del FSLN (14 escaños). En esta región el YATAMA alcanzó 5 escaños, UNO 5 escaños, MAAC 2 escaños y ADECO 1 escaño” (pages 45-46).

Ortega Hegg 2001: “(E)n el caso de las Regiones Autónomas, donde no hubo elecciones municipales, estaba designada una alcaldesa” (page 133).

Prevost 1997: The Chamorro government’s Atlantic Coast strategy “is aided by the control of the south region government by the anti-autonomy [PLC]. The February 1994 regional elections brought the PLC to power in the south, while an FSLN/Yatama alliance governs in the north. Yatama’s commitment to autonomy, in spite of its Contra roots, has allowed tactical alliances with the FSLN against the anti-autonomy parties” (page 29). “Running independently of UNO, the PLC emerged as the largest single party in both regional councils, with 19 seats in the north and 18 seats in the south” (page 35).

Samper 1998: “En la elección votaron en la RAAN 44,534 ciudadanos, 74.4% de los 59,789 inscritos y en la RAAS, votaron 24,950 o sea el 73% de los 34,136 ciudadanos inscritos” (page 198). Lists the parties and alliances that participated in the election (pages 198-199). Gives the number of seats won by each party or alliance in each region (pages 199-200).

Spalding 1996: “The elections for regional councils on the Atlantic Coast in February 1994 suggested that the PLC was expanding its reach. The party showed surprising coastal strength there, winning more that 35 percent of the vote in a seventeen-party competition and the largest number of seats, a total of thirty-seven of the ninety seats in the two regional councils. It outpolled even the FSLN, which came in second with thirty-three seats, down from the forty it had won in 1990" (page 11).


Derechos de las mujeres en Nicaragua: un análisis de género 1996: “En 1994 el FSLN aprobó, bajo presión, una cuota del 30% para las mujeres en los cargos de dirección interna y de elección nacional” (page 161).

Hoyt 1997: “At the May 1994 Extraordinary Party Congress of the FSLN, women achieved several victories. They had begun preparing for this congress immediately after the one in 1991, at which they had been unable to place a woman on the FSLN National Directorate. This time the women were organized both at the leadership level and at the grassroots level. They achieved, by popular vote of the delegates, a mandated ‘quota of power’ of 30 percent women at all leadership levels. This meant five women on the National Directorate out of fifteen” (page 67). Lists their names. Describes other events at the Congress, including the divisions between the “social democratic wing” and the “orthodox wing” (page 153).

Hoyt 2004: “In the May 1994 Congress, each democratic reform that was approved was counterbalanced by a decision that reinforced vanguardism. Former vice president Sergio Ramírez was not reelected to the National Directorate” (page 24).

Isbester 1999: Following a conference of Sandinista women called “Las Mujeres Autoconvocadas,” the May 1994 Extraordinary Congress of the Sandinista party rules that 30% of the party’s nominees in the 1996 election would be women (page 201).

Isbester 2001: “Although Daniel Ortega, the Nicaraguan president between 1979 and 1990 easily won, the election divided the party. The winning group then purged the FSLN of all those who had stood against Ortega and those who had been critical of his platform” (page 109). “The necessity to democratize politics to make it more amenable to women became the goal of a number of Sandinista female activists. After the Sandinista loss at the 1990 election and with AMNLAE’s declining support among Nicaraguan women, these activists decided that the organizational structure of the FSLN had to be democratized to attract women’s support and participation” (page 168). “They had an opportunity to increase women’s participation and democratize the structure of the FSLN at the 1994 Extraordinary Congress. Earlier that year, AMNLAE had suggested a structural change, proposing that 50 percent of all Sandinista nominees going into the 1996 general election be women. But there was such an uproar from both the men and the women at this radical stance that AMNLAE dropped it…This Congress held the FSLN’s first election for individual leadership positions rather than for a slate of candidates…It was sufficiently difficult to predict who would win the vote that both sides needed to court the women’s vote, although neither side wanted to alienate the mainstream” (pages 169-170). “At the Congress, the final agreed-upon quota of all party positions to be allocated to women was 30 percent. Later, other political parties, not wanting to appear sexist, also promised women a 30 percent quota for representation within their party positions and nominees, although none of them later fulfilled that promise” (page 172).

López Castellanos 1996: “La separación del Frente Sandinista” (pages 117-144). “Diferencias políticas entre las dos corrientes” (page 125).

Luciak 2001: “In 1994, the membership composition of the party’s structures was significantly affected by the decision of the Party Congress to establish a 30 percent quota for women and a 10 percent quota for youth. Also, the terms for members of the Sandinista Assembly and the Directorate were limited to three years. The party, however, subsequently failed to enforce this provision” (page 119). “The 1994 Congress failed to unify the two camps behind a common platform and strategy…[Ortega’s] group won 53 percent of the seats in the National Directorate and 65 percent of the seats in the Sandinista Assembly. Significantly, Sergio Ramírez was not reelected to the Directorate” (page 124). “In order to preserve the prevailing balance of power, the Directorate engineered voting procedures that were effective in keeping Téllez from being elected. Female leaders were furious that the male leadership had designed exclusionary procedures and had exerted strong pressure on Téllez to withdraw her candidacy” (page 172). “In the 1994 elections, women fell three seats short of the 30 percent quota based on the number of votes received by male and female candidates. Thus, the new statutes were applied, and three women were allocated seats, bypassing male candidates who had received more votes” (page 176).

Spalding 1996: At the second FSLN party congress, in May 1994, “tensions flared between ex-president Daniel Ortega, who adopted a more radical rhetoric and positioned himself closer to the increasingly militant Sandinista labor front, and former vice-president Sergio Ramírez, who had assumed leadership of the Sandinista bench in the legislature and pushed a more moderate line” (page 9).


Close 1999: “By 1994…Daniel Ortega had ousted Ramírez from his legislative post and driven the pro-constitutional amendment members of the legislative caucus from the party. At that point, the FSLN again began backing the president” (pages 111-112).

Isbester 2001: “’Las Mujeres Autoconvocadas’ resurfaced four months [after the FSLN party congress] to formulate a platform for the 1996 election” (page 173). Describes the document released.

López Castellanos 1996: “El 9 de septiembre de 1994, 76 de los 120 miembros de la Asamblea Sandinista, acordaron destituir a Sergio Ramírez como jefe de la bancada sandinista en el Parlamento y mandatar a Daniel Ortega para ocupar el escaño del ex vicepresidente, quien era su suplente. Sin duda, esta decisión agudizó al extremo la crisis interna en el FSLN y orilló al grupo moderado a anunciar públicamente, el 10 de septiembre de 1994, la creación del Movimiento de Renovación Sandinista (MRS), el cual se estructuraría orgánicamente a nivel nacional, con lo cual se iniciaba el proceso final de la ruptura del FSLN” (page 134).


Hoyt 2004: “In October 1994, the Sandinista Assembly voted to remove Carlos Fernando Chamorro from his position as editor of the Sandinista daily, ‘Barricada’” (page 24).

López Castellanos 1996: “(H)acia finales de 1994 comenzaron a darse renuncias de dirigentes históricos del FSLN como las de los hermanos Ernesto y Fernando Cardenal [y] de la poetiza Gioconda Belli…En efecto, el 24 de octubre, el poeta y sacerdote Ernesto Cardenal anunciaba su renuncia al Frente Sandinista, argumentando que Daniel Ortega y su grupo habían secuestrado al FSLN” (pages 135-136).


Chronicle of parliamentary elections and developments 29 1995: “On 24 November 1994, the National Assembly approved several amendments to the 1987 Constitution which had the general effect of transferring power from the executive to the legislative branch. Furthermore, under the changes the presidential term was reduced from six to five years, with no possibility of re-election. Close relatives of an incumbent President are prohibited from seeking this office. If seeking elective office, government officials and members of the armed forces were required to resign therefrom at least one year before polling” (page 17).

Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras 1995, 1: Lists the constitutional reforms approved by the National Assembly on November 23, 1994 (page 12). “If the reforms are approved at a second legislative session in the first quarter of 1995, they will change the rules on political candidacies and reshape the powers of state.”

Kampwirth 2004: The Comité Nacional Feminista “decided to disband in November 1994 in the midst of infighting over a series of strategic disagreements” (page 66).

McConnell 1997: “On November 7, 1994, the [special constitutional] commission introduced the revised…reform bill for floor debate. It was approved by the Assembly on November 25. Since the Constitution required that amendments be passed by two consecutive legislatures, the bill was resubmitted to the subsequent National Assembly in early 1995” (page 51).


Brown 1995: “ Nicaragua…finds itself in 1995 once more with a political system in which events in the urban centers of the Pacific lowlands, especially, Leon, Granada, and Managua, are the only ones that count. With the end of the 1979-1990 civil war, the central highlands and the Atlantic Coast regions have again been relegated to peripheral roles. This has effectively marginalized the masses, with Pacific proletarians, highland and Atlantic peasants, tribal Indians, and Black Creoles once again consigned to roles either as subordinate supporters to one or another faction of the patriarchate or as outsiders” (page 22).

Coleman 1997: “By the mid-1990s there were five major and two minor party ‘families’ in Nicaragua: 1) the Liberals; 2) the Conservatives, 3) the Christian Democrats; 4) the revolutionary family of parties; 5) the Social Democrats; and the lesser 6) regional integrationist party family as well as 7) two counterrevolutionary parties” (page 166).

Isbester 2001: “In 1995, the FSLN accepted the document [of ‘Las Mujeres Autoconvocadas’] as a foundational understanding of women and democracy…(I)n 1995, politically active women came together again at the First National Convention of Women and Politics. With the threat of an electoral sweep by the far-right Liberal Alliance, even non-Sandinista women shared the concern that the next government would continue to roll back the gains that women had achieved during the Sandinista era…[This] resulted in the creation of a new network, the National Coalition of Women” (page 174). “By the time of the election, the National Coalition of Women managed to get the FSLN, the National Resistance, and the UNO to commit to implementing the Minimum Agenda if elected” (page 175). Describes the document (page 174).

Derechos de las mujeres en Nicaragua: un análisis de género 1996: “En 1995 el MRS estableció el 40% para sus cargos internos y el 30% para los cargos de elección nacional” (page 161).

Kampwirth 2004: The Coalición Nacional de Mujeres (National Women’s Coalition), formed in 1995, “sought to extract promises from all the parties in the months leading up to the 1996 national election, which was the first election for any national office since 1990. The coalition included women who belonged to the two biggest parties…along with women from many of the smaller parties…All three currents within the women’s movement…were also well represented” (page 69).

Latin American regional reports. Caribbean & Central America 22 June 2004: Edén Pastora “created the Partido Acción Democrática in 1995 but the supreme electoral tribunal barred him from running for the presidency on the grounds that he had Costa Rican nationality” (Latinnews.com).

Prevost 1997: “In the last four years, Godoy’s prominence has declined and Managua mayor Arnoldo Alemán emerged as the leader of Nicaragua’s conservative forces…In mid-1995 Alemán, encouraged by the performance of his Liberal Constitutional Party (PLC) in the 1994 Atlantic Coast elections, resigned his mayor’s position and formally announced his presidential candidacy” (page 35).

Stein 1997: “While the political elites in the National Assembly negotiated reforms that were passed in September 1994 and early 1995, the Church continued to support a constitutional referendum” (page 238).


Close 2004: “Throughout the last quarter of 1994 a multiparty alliance, led by the Assembly’s president, Luis Humberto Guzman, a Social Christian, worked out a package of sixty-five amendments, one of whose principal aims was to bring the president’s powers back toward the norm among Latin American democracies. Naturally, the president resisted these changes, and when the Assembly would not repudiate its amendments institutional deadlock followed” (page 9).

Hoyt 1997: January 1995 “brought the resignation of Ramírez from the FSLN and of Téllez from the National Directorate (to which she had been elected only eight months before). Three weeks later, Téllez and two other members of the National Directorate, Luis Carrión and Dr. Mirna Cunningham, resigned from the FSLN Party” (page 154).

McConnell 1997: The constitutional reform bill is resubmitted to the National Assembly in early 1995 and is “approved for the final time” (page 51). Discusses subsequent actions of President Chamorro (pages 51-52).

Vanden 1997: “When the package of constitutional reforms was finally sent to the executive in January 1995, President Chamorro did not promulgate them (by publishing them in the official newspaper) in the required 15-day period and then announced in February that her government did not recognize them” (page 67).


Brown 1995: “That General Ortega finally stepped down in early 1995 has not changed the internal political situation. It may, in fact, make it more complicated. He was replaced in February 1995 as EPS commanding general by another Sandinista comandante, Joaquin Cuadra Lacayo, socially more ‘in’ but politically of the same stripe” (page 12).

Close 2004: “From February to July 1995, Nicaragua’s legislature accepted a different constitution from the one the president followed. Recourse to the courts was impossible, both because each side had its own view of how the nation’s courts should be set up and because the dispute meant that there was no way to replace Supreme Court magistrates whose terms had expired, leaving the Court without a quorum” (page 9).

Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras 1995, 2: “The confrontation over constitutional reform which began last year has brought the state to the brink of crisis. In early February the National Assembly approved the November 1994 package of constitutional amendments in a second sitting. The reforms…reduce the terms of presidents and deputies in the legislature from six years to five and ban presidential candidacies by the incumbent president or his or her close relatives…[The president] refuses to promulgate them…This led to a complete breakdown in relations: the executive now recognizes the 1987 constitution designed by the Sandinistas, while the legislature recognizes the reformed constitution” (page 15).

Grigsby Vado 2003: “The constitutional reforms of 1995…radically changed the organization of the municipal governments by establishing the direct election of mayor and deputy mayors. Article 178 of the reformed Constitution established that ‘the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Council Members will be elected by the people through universal suffrage…The Council Members will be elected by proportional representation, in accord wth the electoral quotient’” (page 20). “Article 178 of the Constitution…establishes that ‘the mayor and deputy-mayor can only be reelected for one period. Reelection of the mayor and deputy-mayor cannot be for the immediately following term’” (page 27).

Horton 1998: Until “Humberto Ortega resigned in February 1995 [as head of the army], this continued Sandinista leadership role in Nicaragua’s armed forces was vociferously opposed by ex-contras and right-wing political figures” (pages 264-265).

Leonard 1998: In 1995 “the legislature passed a new constitution to replace that written in 1987 by the Sandinistas. Though the new document expanded congressional authority at the expense of the president, its electoral reforms were more important for the moment. It stipulated that blood relatives of a sitting executive could not seek the presidency....Furthermore, to avoid a runoff election the successful candidate needed to garner at least 45 percent of the popular vote” (pages 109-110).

Millett 2000: “ Nicaragua is governed under the Sandinista-authored Constitution of 1987, but this was significantly altered by a series of amendments adopted in 1995” (page 461).

McConnell 1997: “By February 1995…the executive and legislature were operating under separate constitutions, inducing a crisis” (page 51).

Movimiento de mujeres en Centroamérica 1997: “Las reformas establecen la prohibición a la reelección presidencial y reducen los términos para presidente y diputados de seis a cinco años;... [E]stablecen la elección directa y a mediano término de los alcaldes...Asimismo, establecen la realización de dos vueltas para las elecciones presidenciales si ningún candidato alcanza el 45 por ciento de los votos. En febrero de 1995, después de muchas tensiones y debates, la Asamblea ratificó las reformas con el necesario margen constitucional del 60 por ciento” (pages 358-359).

The observation of the 1996 Nicaraguan elections: a report of the Council of Freely Elected Heads of Government 1996: “Constitutional reforms in mid-1995 created three requirements for potential candidates which became controversial in the 1996 elections” (page 16). Describes these requirements.

Stahler-Sholk 2003: “(R)eforms in 1995…shifted the institutional balance of power away from the strong presidentialism of the 1987 Sandinista constitution, by increasing the National Assembly’s power…The 1995 electoral reforms also affected the [CSE which] had earned high regard for impartiality in the 1984 and 1990 elections. Following the 1995 reforms, CSE technical staff were replaced by officials drawn from party nomination lists. This de-professionalisation of the CSE, coupled with its inadequate budget, led to the resignation of its president and to the flawed administration of the 1996 election” (page 539).

Walker 2000: The revisions, “among other things, prohibited reelection of the president and curbed the powers of that office” (page 80).


Booth 1999: “(T)he break-away Sandinista Renovation Movement...tore much of the intellectual heart and talented leadership out of the FSLN...Observers agreed that the 1995 schism stripped the FSLN of much of its resources, talent, and organizational capacity and that Daniel Ortega had become the party’s virtual ‘caudillo’” (page 97).

Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras 1995, 3: “On May 18 the [MRS] was formally established. The MRS emerged in 1994 as a splinter group of the left-wing FSLN…The leader of the movement, the former vice-president Sergio Ramírez, was elected as the party’s president, while Dora María Tellez…was elected as vice-president” (page 17).

Prevost 1997: “Many of those who left [the FSLN] formed the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS) which was formally launched as a political party at a congress in May 1995. The gulf between those who stayed in the FSLN and the newly formed MRS is quite wide…Of the 38 Sandinistas in the Assembly, only seven are clearly affiliated with the FSLN” (page 36).


Close 1999: “Amendments to the Electoral Law passed in 1995…reorganized the CSE, made its membership subject to partisan appointment, and laid the groundwork for an ill-administered election in 1996 that brought the council into disrepute” (page 71). “Constitutional amendments adopted in June 1995 established a set of criteria that a potential candidate had to meet before being allowed to run” (page 184). Lists them all.

Coleman 1997: “In June 1995 [Miriam Argüello] was nominated as a presidential candidate by the APC” (page 173).

Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras 1995, 3: “On June 15, after intensive negotiations, the four-month constitutional impasse was broken when the executive and legislative branches reached agreement on a so-called framework law for implementation of the controversial reforms to the 1987 Sandinista constitution” (page 15).

Democracy weakened? A report on the October 20, 1996 Nicaraguan elections 1997: “The CSE’s two veteran figures, Mariano Fiallos (president from its inception in 1984 until early 1996) and Rosa Marina Zelaya (who had been executive secretary) were joined in June 1995 by three new magistrates: Roberto Rivas, an advisor to Cardinal Obando, Braulio Lanuza, selected from the Conservative Popular Action’s list, and Alfonso Callejas, the executive’s choice. No more than two magistrates may be from the same party” (page 6).

Hoyt 1997: “In June of 1995, the Sandinista Assembly voted to hold an open primary to select FSLN nominees for all local and national races in the October 1996 elections. The Assembly also said that 30 percent of FSLN candidates for office should be women and 10 percent youth” (page 154).

Luciak 2001: “In an effort to reach out to the grass roots and to strengthen the internal democracy of the party, the Sandinista Assembly decided to select the FSLN candidate for the 1996 presidential elections through an open primary, a ‘consulta popular’” (page 121).

McConnell 1997: “On June 7, 1995, the terms of office for the Supreme Electoral Council expired. Adhering to separate constitutions, the executive and legislature could not agree on how new members should be named. The top administrative organ for Nicaragua’s electoral branch was thrown into political limbo at a moment when the 1996 electoral preparations were already under way. Nicaragua is among the few democracies with a fourth branch of state, the electoral branch” (page 52).

Municipalities: where democracy is born 1997: “1995: As a result of reforms to the Constitution, municipal mayors will be directly elected by the population and the term of office for mayors and municipal councilors was reduced to four years” (page 21)

Spalding 1996: “As of June 1995, twenty-six parties were registered in the Council of Political Parties. These parties were also only tenuously connected with their elected representatives” (page 8).

Traña Galeano 2000: “(E)n junio de 1995, la Asamblea Legislativa aprobó la Ley 261…La nueva ley restablece la elección directa del Alcalde y crea además la figura del Vice-Alcalde, también electo directamente [y] reduce el término del período de las autoridades municipales en el ejercicio de sus cargos, de seis a cuatro años” (page 183).


Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras 1995, 3: “The constitutional reforms were promulgated on July 4 by the president…The most important amendments reduce the terms of the president, the vice-president and the National Assembly deputies from six years to five; prohibit immediate re-election of the incumbent president; prohibit presidential candidacies by the president’s close relations; and provide for a second round if no candidate wins 45% of the vote in the first round of a presidential election” (page 15).

Fiallos Oyanguren 2000: “El sistema [de elecciones] ha sido reformado por…la Ley de Reforma Parcial a la Constitución de Nicaragua del 4 de Julio de 1995” (page 247).

Manual electoral del periodista 1996: “(L)a Asamblea Nacional reformó sustancialmente la Constitución Política de 1987, cambiando el sistema político del país al encaminarse sus objetivos generales a eliminar viejos vicios de la vida política nacional como la personalización en el poder, el clientelismo, el nepotismo, el afán de perpetuación en el poder, la discrecionalidad y la confusión de intereses privados y públicos” (page 11). Reproduces key articles of new electoral law (pages 15-27).

McConnell 1997: “(U)nder the reformed Constitution, presidents were not to succeed themselves in office. After waiting an interval of one term, former presidents could run again, but they could serve only a total of two terms. The length of the presidential term was also reduced from six years to five. Persons working for the executive branch were to resign twelve months in advance of becoming candidates for the presidency or vice presidency. Furthermore, relatives of the president up to the fourth degree and former relatives up to the second degree were prohibited from being candidates…The selection of the president would also be affected by the introduction of a rule requiring that the winning candidate receive no less than 45 percent of the valid votes cast. If no candidate received that many votes, a second-round run-off election was required between the top two contenders. This clause was drawn up with an eye to the fact that the number of political parties had mushroomed, posing the possibility of a minority president” (page 54).

Electoral observation Nicaragua, 1996 1997: “In the area of electoral affairs, the reform gave the [CSE] the status of a branch of government, so that it became the country’s highest electoral authority and its decisions on electoral matters were no longer subject to appeal to another branch” (page 14).

Payne 1996: “In fall 1995, with the elections barely a year away, the National Assembly passed a new electoral law that called for an expensive overhaul of the electoral system but did not increase the CSE’s budget...The new law called for the 9 CSE regional sectors to be replaced with 17 departmental ones. It also stipulated that electoral officials at the departmental and municipal levels be selected from lists of people nominated by the political parties, rather than be hired directly by the CSE” (pages 8-9). “Under the 1995 electoral reforms, presidential and legislative terms were reduced from six to five years, municipal officials to four years, and presidential re-election was prohibited” (page 14).

Vanden 1997: “For a while there were two constitutions, with each of the two branches declaring that theirs was the legal one. Nor could the two governmental institutions reach any compromise on how to move beyond the widening chasm” (page 67). “The constitutional reforms and the implementation law were promulgated on 4 July 1995” (page 68).


Close 1999: “Because the revised constitution demands that a sitting vice president who wants to run for the presidency must resign that post twelve months before the next election…, Virgilio Godoy stepped down in October 1995. It was the National Assembly’s responsibility…to fill the newly vacant position” (page 105). Describes how Julia Mena comes to be vice-president (pages 105-106).


Chamorro 1998: “La nueva Ley Electoral aprobada por la Asamblea Nacional en diciembre de 1995 introdujo cambios importantes en el sistema de partidos políticos y en el régimen electoral. En términos generales, el espíritu de la Ley fue concebido para favorecer a los partidos políticos pequeños…La nueva Ley abolió el Consejo de Partidos Políticos y trasladó sus principales funciones…al Consejo Supremo Electoral” (page 204). “En concordancia con las reformas constitucionales, la Ley estableció el sistema electoral de dos vueltas, en caso de que el ganador de la primera no obtuviera el 45% de los votos. Asimismo, introdujo la elección directa de alcaldes y vicealcaldes y la participación de Asociaciones de Suscripción Popular en las elecciones municipales dando lugar a la concurrencia de unas cincuenta candidaturas de este tipo de movimientos extrapartidarios en las elecciones de octubre. La Ley redujo el período de campaña electoral de 90 a 75 días y estableció un sistema flexible y generoso para el financiamiento estatal de las campañas de los partidos políticos” (page 205).

The observation of the 1996 Nicaraguan elections: a report of the Council of Freely Elected Heads of Government 1996: “In late December 1995, the National Assembly approved a new electoral law with significant changes to the administration of the elections” (page 15). Summarizes the changes.