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Nicaragua kicks off controversial campaign season

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega (L), pictured on December 04, 2013, waves to journalists next to his wife Rosario Murillo in ManaguaNicaragua kicked off its presidential election campaign season on Saturday amid opposition calls for a boycott, as the hugely favored President Daniel Ortega seeks a third consecutive term. A former Sandinista guerilla rebel who has led the Central American nation with an authoritarian hand, the leftist Ortega is running against a fragmented opposition weakened by a court ruling that changed the leadership of a key party and booted many of its deputies from parliament. Calling on Nicaraguans to boycott the November 6 election — in which the 70-year-old Ortega named his wife as his running mate — the opposition dismissed the vote as a “farce” aimed at allowing the president to start a family dynasty.

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