Explainer: What might happen next if Ortega wins a fourth term in Nicaragua's election?

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Nicaraguans exiled successful Costa Rica protestation against the authorities of President Daniel Ortega, up of the country's statesmanlike elections successful November, successful San Jose, Costa Rica October 24, 2021. REUTERS/Mayela Lopez/File Photo

Nov 3 (Reuters) - Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is poised to win a 4th consecutive word successful Sunday's statesmanlike elections, extending his tally arsenic the longest-serving ruler successful the Americas until astatine slightest January 2027.

Following much than 3 years of crackdown connected dissent, the predetermination has been criticized arsenic anti-democratic by powers including the United States and the European Union, raising questions astir what the fallout could be.

Following are immoderate imaginable scenarios:

INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE INCREASES

U.S. officials told Reuters they are moving with planetary partners connected caller sanctions that could beryllium slapped connected the Ortega medication aft the election, and the U.S. House of Representatives connected Wednesday voted overwhelmingly successful favour of authorities clamping down connected Nicaragua.

The medication of U.S. President Joe Biden is besides reviewing Nicaragua's information successful a Central American escaped commercialized statement (CAFTA-DR) that gives preferential attraction to exports to the United States, its main commercialized partner. Washington has already stopped activities aimed astatine improving Nicaragua's export capabilities, seen arsenic benefiting the government.

Ortega has said helium volition not bow to sanctions and galore analysts are skeptical, with sanctions having done small to effect alteration successful Cuba and Venezuela.

"If they support coming successful a disorganized fashion, without intelligibly defined objectives, they won't person the desired effect of bringing astir immoderate benignant of change," said Tiziano Breda, an expert astatine the International Crisis Group deliberation tank.

Some analysts reason sanctions could supply a scapegoat for which Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, tin blasted mediocre economical performance.

Others speculate the medication volition question to bargain clip by releasing opponents held successful jailhouse who their supporters accidental are governmental prisoners.

Increased planetary isolation could yet extremity up pushing the Ortega medication person to competitors of the United States specified arsenic China and Russia.

WEAK ECONOMY

Between 2000 and 2017, Nicaraguan gross home merchandise grew an mean 3.9% per annum, driven by remittances and overseas nonstop investment. But betwixt the onset of governmental situation successful 2018 that led to clashes betwixt concern leaders and the administration, to 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic, GDP contracted by an accumulated 8.8%.

Some analysts judge that Ortega and Murillo volition question to assistance the system by negotiating down the scenes with starring concern groups.

Over the abbreviated term, Nicaragua should beryllium capable to number connected enactment from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

However, adjacent if dialog with concern yields fruit, the economical interaction is apt to beryllium modest, said Oscar Rene Vargas, a Nicaraguan governmental expert astatine the CEREN deliberation vessel successful Managua.

MIGRATION RISING

Further crackdowns connected dissent and economical weakness could spur further emigration to the United States.

The fig of Nicaraguans detained astatine the U.S. confederate borderline has leapt dramatically successful 2021, from 575 successful January to 13,391 successful July, according to authoritative data.

An summation successful the fig of Nicaraguans surviving overseas has besides boosted remittances to the Central American country, and whitethorn enactment arsenic an flight valve for immoderate interior dissent.

Between 2017 and 2020, wealth transfers from overseas grew 33% to $1.85 billion. Remittances are worthy immoderate 15% of Nicaragua's GDP, 1 of the highest percentages successful Latin America.

REPRESSION

Major protests against the Ortega authorities began successful April 2018. At slightest 300 radical died successful the consequent crackdown and implicit 150 much stay down bars, according to quality rights organizations.

This year, 37 much Ortega adversaries, including 7 statesmanlike candidates, were detained for conspiracy and treason, portion the Supreme Electoral Council stripped 3 parties of ineligible presumption and Congress did the same for 45 civilian nine groups, including six overseas NGOs.

With galore absorption leaders present retired of the country, down bars, oregon taxable to judicial constraints, repressive measures whitethorn easiness erstwhile Ortega has secured different term, analysts say.

However, the anticipation remains that the crackdown could widen deeper into the civilian population.

WEAK OPPOSITION

The quashing of disapproval has made it hard for the absorption to forge a agreed front. Some leaders person urged the nationalist to spoil their ballots successful the election, others to abstain, and immoderate person been accused of falling silent.

The adjacent accidental the absorption has to marque its dependable heard volition beryllium successful municipal elections astatine the extremity of 2022 - assuming the authorities meets the minimum antiauthoritarian guarantees they inquire for.

Reporting by Diego Ore, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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