1990 Nicaraguan general election

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Nicaraguan presidential election, 1990

← 1984 February 25, 1990 (1990-02-25) 1996 →
  Violeta Chamorro 1993.jpg Ortega Lula - ABr 28.07.20102225 (cropped).JPG
Candidate Violeta Chamorro Daniel Ortega
Popular vote 777.552 579.886
Percentage 54.74% 40.82%

President before election

Daniel Ortega


Violeta Chamorro

A general election was held in Nicaragua to elect a president and parliament on February 25, 1990.

In the resulting February 1990 elections, Violeta Chamorro and her party the UNO won an upset victory of 55% to 41% over Daniel Ortega,[1] even though polls leading up to the election had clearly indicated an FSLN victory.[2]

Possible explanations include that the Nicaraguan people were disenchanted with the Ortega government as well as the fact that already in November 1989, the White House had announced that the economic embargo against Nicaragua would continue unless Violeta Chamorro won.[3] Also, there had been reports of intimidation from the side of the contras,[4] with a Canadian observer mission claiming that 42 people were killed by the contras in "election violence" in October 1989.[5] This led many commentators to assume that Nicaraguans voted against the Sandinistas out of fear of a continuation of the contra war and economic deprivation.[2]

Presidential election results[6][edit]

Candidate Party/Alliance % Votes
Violeta Barrios de Chamorro National Opposition Union (UNO) 54.74% 777,552
Daniel Ortega Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) 40.82% 579,886
Erick Ramírez Beneventes Social Christian Party (PCS) 1.18% 16,751
Issa Moisés Hassán Morales Revolutionary Unity Movement (MUR) 0.78% 11,136
Bonifacio Miranda Bengoechea Workers' Revolutionary Party (PRT) 0.60% 8,590
Isidro Téllez Toruño Marxist-Leninist Popular Action Movement (MAP ML) 0.57% 8,115
Fernando Bernabé Agüero Rocha Social Conservative Party (PSC) 0.41% 5,798
Blanca Rojas Echaverry Central American Unionist Party (PUCA) 0.36% 5,065
Eduardo Molina Palacios Democratic Conservative Party of Nicaragua (PCDN) 0.32% 4,500
Rodolfo Robelo Herrera Independent Liberal Party for National Unity (PLIUN) 0.22% 3,151
Total valid votes 100% 1,420,544
Spoilt and invalid votes 5.97% 90,249
Total votes/Turnout 86.23% 1,510,838
Registered voters 1,752,088
Population 3,800,000

Legislative election [7][edit]

Parties and alliances Votes % Seats*
National Opposition Union (UNO) = National Conservative Party (PNC) / Popular Conservative Alliance (APC) / National Conservative Action (ACN) / Democratic Party of National Confidence (PDCN) / Independent Liberal Party (PLI) / Neoliberal Party (PALI) / Constitutionalist Liberal Party (PLC) / National Action Party (PAN) / Nicaraguan Socialist Party (PSN) / Communist Party of Nicaragua (PC de N) / Popular Social Christian Party (PPSC) / Nicaraguan Democratic Movement (MDN) / Social Democratic Party (PSD) / Central American Integrationist Party (PIAC) 764,748 53.88% 51****
Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) 579,723 40.84% 39**
Social Christian Party (PCS) 22,218 01.57% 01
Revolutionary Unity Movement (MUR) 13,995 00.99% 01***
Workers' Revolutionary Party (PRT) 10,586 00.75% 00
Marxist-Leninist Popular Action Movement (MAP ML) 7,643 00.54% 00
Social Conservative Party (PSC) 6,308 00.44% 00
Central American Unionist Party (PUCA) 5,565 00.39% 00
Democratic Conservative Party of Nicaragua (PCDN) 5,083 00.36% 00
Independent Liberal Party for National Unity (PLIUN) 3,515 00.25% 00
Total valid votes 1,419,384 100% 92*
Spoilt and invalid votes 92,723 06.13%
Total votes/Turnout 1,512,107 86.30%
Registered voters 1,752,088
Population 3,870,700

(*) Including two seats for unsuccessful presidential candidates. (**) Includes defeated presidential candidate. (***) As defeated presidential candidate. (****) PNC – 5; APC – 6; PLI – 5; PLC – 5; PALI – 3; PAN – 3; PDCN – 5; PC de N – 3; PSN – 3; PSD – 5; MDN – 3; PIAC – 1; ACN – 2; PPSC – 2.


  1. ^ Uhlig, Mark A. (27 February 1990). "Turnover in Nicaragua; NICARAGUAN OPPOSITION ROUTS SANDINISTAS; U.S. PLEDGES AID, TIED TO ORDERLY TURNOVER". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  2. ^ a b "After the Poll Wars-Explaining the Upset". Envio. March 1990.
  3. ^ "Bush Vows to End Embargo if Chamorro Wins", The Washington Post, 9 November 1989
  4. ^ "The policy of keeping the contras alive ... also has placed in jeopardy the holding of elections by encouraging contra attacks on the electoral process. Thus, while the Bush administration proclaims its support for human rights and free and fair elections in Nicaragua, it persists in sabotaging both." As seen at: "Nicaragua" Human Rights Watch, 1990
  5. ^ "U.S. trying to disrupt election in Nicaragua, Canadians report" The Toronto Star, 27 October 1989
  6. ^ Elections in the Americas : a data handbook / ed. by Dieter Nohlen, Vol. 1. [Oxford] [u.a.] : Oxford Univ. Press, 2005. Pp.502.
  7. ^ Elections in the Americas : a data handbook / ed. by Dieter Nohlen, Vol. 1. [Oxford] [u.a.] : Oxford Univ. Press, 2005. Pp.496.


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