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Enrique Bolaños Geyer:
A Step Towards Consolidating Democracy in Nicaragua
FOCAL Policy Paper
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On November 4, 2001, Nicaraguans demonstrated their unwavering commitment to democracy by turning out in
large numbers to cast their ballots in favour of the Constitutionalist Liberal Party’s
(PLC) candidate, Enrique Bolaños
Geyer. The election results were an obvious rejection of the leftist Sandinista leader, Daniel Ortega, who captured an
estimated 44.7 per cent of the vote compared to 53.7 per cent for Enrique
Bolaños. The elections were not “perfect”,
due to serious delays in tabulating the votes, but international as well as national observers deemed them free and
fair. In fact, these elections were, as Janelle Conaway, an OAS observer expressed, “inspiring and humbling” because
they demonstrated the country’s commitment to democracy. This paper will illustrate why these elections are a victory and a step forward for Nicaragua’s democracy while
recommending to Canada and the international community how they can assist President Bolaños to further advance
and/or consolidate democracy in Nicaragua.
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