Thousands March in Rival Nicaraguan Rallies
By SOF Editor on Mon, 11/23/2009 - 11:47am
Thousands of pro- and anti-government protesters took to the streets of Nicaragua's capital over the possible re-election of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.
At least 40,000 anti-government demonstrators rallied Saturday in one area of Managua, marching against what they called Mr. Ortega's attempt to set up a dictatorship.
The rally marked the anniversary of last year's municipal elections. Opposition supporters say President Ortega's Sandinista National Liberation Front won the elections by fraud.
In another part of the capital, Sandinista party supporters held a separate rally to show their continued support of President Ortega.
Nicaraguan police stepped up security, but there were no reports of clashes between the two groups.
The country's supreme court ruled last month that Mr. Ortega could run in the 2011 presidential election, striking down a constitutional prohibition on a president running for a second consecutive term.
Nicaragua currently allows its presidents to serve two non-consecutive five-year terms. Mr. Ortega served his first term as president starting in 1985. He was defeated for re-election in 1990, but began serving a second term in 2007 after winning a second term in national elections.
President Ortega is one of several Latin American leaders who have sought the authority to change their constitutions to stay in power.