As exciting as the U.S. elections were, Nicaragua´s might be even more exciting (or crazy and dangerous, depending on your perspective). The mayoral elections here were held on November 9th. Here in Corinto, the result were interesting. The night of the elections, the Sandinista party announced victory and started to celebrate, only to find that the Liberal party also had declared victory and started their own celebration parade. The following day I had a friend who decided to hang out with the crowd in front of the election center. I call him every hour for updates and here were the results.
10 am - Liberals won.
11 am - Sandinistas won.
12 pm - Liberals won.
1 pm - Sandinistas won.
2 pm - Liberals won.
And it pretty much went on like that for the rest of the day and the following days. A couple of days ago they unoficially announced that the Sandinistas won, but the Liberals are still disputing it. Also, this race is interesting to me because the candidate for mayor was the director at my health center so I knew him well.
The good thing about Corinto, is that it hasnt turned into violence like the race has in Managua. The Liberals are claiming fraud and are fighting with the Sandinistas. Whats so interesting to me is that this is all over a mayoral election! But, it is the first election since Sandinista Daniel Ortega has been back in power so both parties are fired up about it. One thing I´ve learned here is that political parties are something that runs deep. The civil war here in the 80s was to some extent (although not completely) the Liberals vs. Sandinistas (of course with the U.S. meddling hand in there making everything much more violent). As a result, people here are VERY political and get very emotional about elections.
I am completely safe here in Corinto. We have been told by the Peace Corps office to stay out of Managua until this issue gets resolved. Hopefully things will resolve themselves soon and everyone can go back to normal life. The following is a NY Times article about the protests. In my opinion, it paints the picture a little more dramatically than it is, but I havent been in Managua in the past few days.
here is the link