Daniel Ortega Picks His Wife Rosario Murillo for VP

Rosario Murillo will be the new Nicaraguan Vice President as of January 2017.  Photo: el19digital.com

HAVANA TIMES  – Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega inscribed his wife, Rosario Murillo, on Tuesday as his running mate in the general elections set for November 6, reported dpa news.

With the organized opposition banned from taking part in the elections, Murillo, who currently holds several important government posts, is the virtual VP come January, 2017.

Ortega, was nominated for the seventh consecutive time (since 1984) for the presidency by the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).

In brief statements to the authorities of the Supreme Electoral Council, the president said that the candidacy of Murillo materializes what he calls “a principle of fairness”, reflected in the presence of women in 50 percent of public offices in the country.

Ortega said that this is true despite the fact that Nicaragua has “a macho society” where the woman is relegated to the domestic role.

Nicaraguan laws against consecutive presidential terms and nepotism have been pushed aside by the country’s high court, packed with Ortega supporters and allies.

In political circles it was rumored for weeks that Murillo, 65, would be chosen by the president as his vice president. Analysts said Ortega, 71, supposedly with a heart condition, sought to secure family presidential succession.

After winning the election, it will be the first time that Nicaragua has a government headed by a married couple, although Murillo has been the chief government coordinator and spokesperson since Ortega returned to office in 2007.

The case would be similar to the Argentine president Juan Domingo Peron, who in 1973 became president of the country in a second term with his wife Estela Martinez as his running mate. After Peron’s death a year later, Martinez took office, but in 1976 she was overthrown by a military coup led by General Jorge Rafael Videla.

Daniel Ortega ruled Nicaragua from 1985 to 1990. After 16 years in opposition he returned to power in the 2006 elections was re-elected in 2011 under a controversial decree of the Judiciary, since the Constitution prohibited him to run more than twice for the Presidency and in two consecutive periods.

In 2012, after winning a majority in Parliament, the FSLN reformed the constitution, which has since authorized indefinite presidential reelection.

Hours before the registration of Rosario Murillo, the FSLN had registered with the Electoral Council its 220 candidates for deputies: 90 seat holders and 90 substitutes for the National Assembly (Parliament) and 20 seat holders with 20 substitutes to the Central American Parliament.

Other small parties allied to the FSLN also inscribed their candidates.