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Nicaragua

Nicaragua Government Stats

Profile:

Left-wing Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega made his political comeback in the November 2006 elections, having led Nicaragua through revolution and a civil war before being voted out in 1990.

Mr Ortega was re-elected to another five-year term with a landslide victory in 2011, winning 63% of the vote. Independent election observers, as well as opposition figures and US diplomats, voiced concern about the fairness of the poll.

His first period in office, in 1985-90, was marked by a programme of wealth distribution and a pro-Cuban orientation in foreign policy, which triggered a crippling trade embargo from the US administration of Ronald Reagan, which suspected Nicaragua of fomenting revolution elsewhere in Central America. The US also armed and funded attacks by Contra rebels.

A peace deal with the Contras led to the 1990 presidential election, which he lost to a former Sandinista ally turned liberal opposition leader, Violeta Chamorro, in the midst of public exhaustion and economic collapse.

By the time he came to stand for re-election in 2006, Mr Ortega had toned down his former Marxist rhetoric in an effort to calm fears in a Nicaragua that, although seeing steady market-based economic growth, was still plagued by poverty and corruption.

However, the global financial crisis that began a few years later prompted him to declare that capitalism was in its "death throes".

Socialist ties

Mr Ortega has maintained close ties with fellow leftwing populist leaders in the region, in particular Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, and relations with the right-leaning pro-US Colombian leadership have been strained at times.

Although Mr Ortega still enjoys solid support among the poorer parts of Nicaraguan society, his critics have accused him of exhibiting dictatorial tendencies. This criticism was not assuaged by the October 2009 Supreme Court decision to amend the constitution to allow him to stand for re-election.

Born in 1945, the young Mr Ortega joined the Sandinista movement in 1963. He rose rapidly through its ranks and was a leading player in the guerrilla war against dictator Anastasio Somoza. He was imprisoned several times.

Definitions

  • Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
  • Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Capital city > Name: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
  • Country name > Conventional long form: This entry is derived from Government > Country name, which includes all forms of the country's name approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an example): conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form (Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation. Also see the Terminology note.
  • Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address: This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and consulate locations.
  • Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
  • Executive branch > Head of government: Head of government includes the name and title of the top administrative leader who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the government. For example, in the UK, the monarch is the chief of state, and the prime minister is the head of government. In the US, the president is both the chief of state and the head of government.
  • Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
  • Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
  • Legal system: A brief description of the legal system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
  • Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
  • Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
  • Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
  • Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
STAT AMOUNT DATE RANK HISTORY
Administrative divisions 15 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 2 autonomous regions* (regiones autonomistas, singular - region autonoma); Atlantico Norte*, Atlantico Sur*, Boaco, Carazo, Chinandega, Chontales, Esteli, Granada, Jinotega, Leon, Madriz, Managua, Masaya, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia, Rio San Juan, Rivas 2013
Capital city > Geographic coordinates 12 09 N, 86 17 W 2008
Capital city > Name Managua 2011
Constitution 9 January 1987; revised in 1995, 2000, and 2005 2012
Country name > Conventional long form Republic of Nicaragua 2013
Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address American Embassy Managua, APO AA 34021 2013
Executive branch > Cabinet Council of Ministers appointed by the president 2013
Executive branch > Head of government President Jose Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra (since 10 January 2007); Vice President Moises Omar HALLESLEVENS Acevedo (since 10 January 2012) 2013
Government type republic 2013
Judicial branch Supreme Court or Corte Suprema de Justicia (16 judges elected for five-year terms by the National Assembly) 2012
Legal system civil law system; Supreme Court may review administrative acts 2013
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional 2011
Political parties and leaders Alliance for the Republic or APRE [Carlos CANALES]
Conservative Party or PC [Alejandro BOLANOS Davis]
Independent Liberal Party or PLI [Indalecio RODRIGUEZ]
Liberal Constitutionalist Party or PLC [Maria Haydee OSUNA]
Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance or ALN [Alejandro MEJIA Ferreti]
Sandinista National Liberation Front or FSLN [Jose Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra]
Sandinista Renovation Movement or MRS [Ana Margarita VIJIL]
2013
Political pressure groups and leaders National Workers Front or FNT (a Sandinista umbrella group of eight labor unions including: Farm Workers Association or ATC, Health Workers Federation or FETASALUD, Heroes and Martyrs Confederation of Professional Associations or CONAPRO, National Association of Educators of Nicaragua or ANDEN, National Union of Employees or UNE, National Union of Farmers and Ranchers or UNAG, Sandinista Workers Central or CST, and Union of Journalists of Nicaragua or UPN)
Permanent Congress of Workers or CPT (an umbrella group of four non-Sandinista labor unions including: Autonomous Nicaraguan Workers Central or CTN-A, Confederation of Labor Unification or CUS, Independent General Confederation of Labor or CGT-I, and Labor Action and Unity Central or CAUS)
Nicaraguan Workers' Central or CTN (an independent labor union)
Superior Council of Private Enterprise or COSEP (a confederation of business groups)
2013
Suffrage 16 years of age; universal 2013

SOURCES: CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 28 March 2011; CIA World Factbooks 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Citation

"Nicaragua Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Nicaragua/Government

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Posted on 24 Dec 2009

Stephen W. Suchy

Stephen W. Suchy