Abstract

This essay examines Nicaragua's municipal elections of November 2008 against the backdrop of Daniel Ortega's return to the nation's presidency in 2006. While Ortega has engaged in authoritarian practices, municipal-level Sandinista politicians have helped foster a vibrant local democracy. Engaging citizens in local problem-solving, they have dominated municipal elections since 2001, winning most major municipalities again in 2008. Sandinista success has pushed Liberals toward a more policy-oriented versus clientelistic approach to local government and generated a more responsive and competitive municipal politics nation-wide. These developments, contrasted with Ortega's behavior, indicate that Nicaragua is experiencing progressive and regressive forces in its democratization process.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3214
Print ISSN
1045-5736
Pages
pp. 153-167
Launched on MUSE
2009-07-11
Open Access
No
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