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Nicaragua's Ortega Set To Win Third Term

President Daniel Ortega

President Daniel Ortega

Former Marxist guerrilla leader Daniel Ortega is set to win a third term as president of Nicaragua.

Electoral authorities said preliminary results showed Ortega had won 66 percent of the votes in the November 6 election.

Ortega has overseen a period of economic growth in the Central American country during his five years in power, backed by financial help from his socialist ally in Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez.

But he was able to run for reelection only after the Supreme Court -- which his Sandinista party controls -- did away with a ban on consecutive terms.

This has led to accusations that Ortega, like Chavez, aims to stay in power indefinitely.

Ortega, a former commander of the Sandinista rebel army that won power in a 1979 revolution and a Cold War adversary of the United States, first served as president between 1985 and 1990.

compiled from agency reports