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Asamblea Nacional (National Assembly)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Asamblea Nacional / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 5 November 2006
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all the seats in the National Assembly on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
Parliamentary elections were held at the same time as presidential elections on 5 November 2006.

In the last elections in 2001 the main conservative party the Liberal and Constitutional Party (PLC) of Mr. Enrique Bolaños obtained the most seats in parliament. Its main rival was the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) led by Mr. Daniel Ortega who had been President from 1985 to 1990. Mr. Enrique also defeated Mr. Ortega in the 2001 presidential elections.

The bi-partisan system was challenged when former finance minister Eduardo Montealegre Rivas split from the PLC and formed the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN) with other PLC members. The new party opposed to former President Arnoldo Alemán's continued control of the PLC even after his conviction for misuse of State funds in December 2003.

The main issue in the 2006 elections was the economy and how to deal with poverty in one of the poorest countries in the Americas where over 80 per cent of the population lives on less than two dollars per day. The media focused on the presidential candidates' programmes. Mr. Ortega (FSLN) who was running for President for the fourth time pledged to end "unbridled capitalism" while increasing foreign investment to reduce poverty. His plan included establishing development banks for agriculture and small businesses.

The conservative camp was deeply divided. The PLC endorsed former Vice-President José Rizo as its presidential candidate and pledged to promote employment in the country by favouring rural development. The ALN candidate Mr. Montealegre promised to enhance the country's involvement in the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). He also pledged to create more jobs in the country in order to prevent emigration. Mr. Montealegre received the backing of outgoing President Bolaños (PLC) while some PLC candidates publicly supported the ALN.

The Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS) founded by former FSLN members in 1995 was led by Mr. Edmundo Jarquín following the death of former leader Herty Lewites in July 2006. The new MRS leader promised to build 10 000 houses per year.

66.73 per cent of the 3.6 million registered voters turned out at the polls which were monitored by about 17 000 observers. The 150-member EU Observer Mission reported that the elections were generally "peaceful competitive and adequately administered".

In the elections to the National Assembly the FSLN came in first with 38 seats while the PLC won 25. The ALN finished third with 22 seats and five seats went to the MRS (see note). On 22 November 2006 the Supreme Court confirmed Mr. Ortega's victory in the presidential elections ahead of Mr. Montealegre.

The new National Assembly held its first session on 10 January 2007 and elected Mr. René Núñez Téllez of the FSLN as its new Speaker for a two-year term. Mr. Ortega was sworn in as President of the country on the same day.

In addition to 90 elected members one seat is reserved for the runner-up in the presidential election and a second seat goes to the immediate past President of the country. The ALN candidate Mr. Montealegre and outgoing President Bolaños therefore became members of the National Assembly.
Voter turnout
Round no 15 November 2006
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
2'445'692 (66.73%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) 840'851 37.59
Liberal and constitutionalist party (PLC) 592'118 26.47
Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN) 597'709 26.72
Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS) 194'416 8.69
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total Number of women
Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) 38 12
Liberal and constitutionalist party (PLC) 25 2
Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN) 22 2
Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS) 5 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Source: National Assembly (07.12.2006 13.03.2007 01.01.2010)

Note on the "Distribution of seats":
The "Distribution of seats" above refers to the 90 directly elected members. The "Distribution of seats according to sex" below includes the two non-elected members.

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