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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) 6 November 2011
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all the seats in the National Assembly on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
At stake in the 2011 elections were 90 directly-elected seats in the National Assembly (see note). Parliamentary elections were held in parallel with presidential elections.

In the previous elections held in November 2006, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), led by Mr. Daniel Ortega, took 38 of the 90 directly-elected seats in the National Assembly. The ruling Liberal and Constitutional Party (PLC) and its splinter party - the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN) - took 25 and 22 seats respectively. Mr. Ortega won the presidential elections.

It is estimated that about 40 per cent of the country's 5.8 million inhabitants live on less than US$ 2 a day. President Ortega, during his second elected term of office, implemented a series of programmes aimed at providing the poor with microcredits, farm animals and transport subsidies. The FSLN government also provided a US$ 33 monthly bonus for government workers.

The country's Constitution prohibits consecutive presidential terms. In October 2009, the President filed a suit before the Constitutional Chamber of the Nicaraguan Supreme Court, arguing the presidential term limit violated his constitutional rights. Later the same month, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the President. The ruling was subsequently approved by the Supreme Electoral Council, thereby allowing the incumbent President to seek a third term in 2011.

In 2011, President Ortega's FSLN was challenged by Mr. Fabio Gadea Mantilla's Liberal Independent Party (PLI) and former President Arnoldo Alemán's PLC. The party leaders also ran for the presidency.

The FSLN ran on the government's record, arguing that no previous government had helped the people as the FSLN had. President Ortega promised to reduce poverty and illiteracy.

The 80-year old PLI leader Gadea, who is Mr. Alemán's father-in-law, promised to fight corruption. He proposed to reduce the statutory number of members of the National Assembly to 62 and of the Supreme Court magistrates from 16 to six so as to reduce public spending. He pledged not to seek re-election if elected.

PLC leader Alemán, whose conviction for misappropriation of State funds was overturned in 2009, pledged to restore the rule of law and democracy to Nicaragua. The PLC promised to create 1 million new jobs.

On 6 November, over 75 per cent of the 3.4 million registered voters turned out at the polls.

The final results gave 62 seats to the FSLN and 26 to the PLI. The PLC took the remaining two seats. In all, 37 women were elected.

In the presidential elections, Mr. Ortega was re-elected with 62 per cent of the votes. PLI leader Gadea and PLC leader Alemán, who took 31 and 6 per cent of the votes respectively, challenged the results, alleging fraud. On 16 November, the Supreme Electoral Council rejected their appeals, thereby confirming Mr. Ortega's re-election.

The newly elected National Assembly held its first session on 9 January 2012 and re-elected Mr. Santos René Núñez Téllez (FSLN) as its Speaker.

In addition to the 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 or his/her deputy. Mr. Fabio Gadea Mantilla (PLI) took the first seat. Since President Ortega was re-elected in 2011, his deputy, Mr. Jaime Rene Morales (FSLN), took the second seat.
Voter turnout
Round no 16 November 2011
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
2'630'889 (79.63%)

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) 1'583'199 60.85
Liberal Independent Party (PLI) 822'023 31.59
Liberal and constitutionalist party (PLC) 167'639 6.44
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total Number of women
Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) 62 34
Liberal Independent Party (PLI) 26 3
Liberal and constitutionalist party (PLC) 2 0
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
National Assembly (13.12.2011, 10.01.2012, 16.01.2012, 14.03.2014, 01.01.2015, 12.06.2015)

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" includes the two non-elected members: the runner-up in the presidential election and the immediate past vice-president; both men.

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