MANAGUA – In an effort to recreate the great National Opposition Union (UNO) political alliance that defeated the Sandinista Front in the 1990 elections, the opposition Liberal forces represented by political leader Eduardo Montealegre and Arnoldo Alemán’s Liberal Constitutional Party (PLC) signed an electoral alliance this week to unify forces in the PLC’s number 1 ballot box in the upcoming municipal elections.
With Montealegre as its candidate for the mayor of Managua, the so-called “Great Liberal Alliance”will run on the ballot under the flag of PLC, despite earlier claims by Montealegre’s supporters that they would never vote in ballot box number 1 and that any alliance between Liberals would have to be on a third-party ticket.
Also joining the Liberal alliance are the minority Liberal Independent Party (PLI) and the Christian Path (CC) party. The Conservatives and Sandinista Renovation Movement will run its own candidates.
In joining the alliance, Montealegre has essentially abandoned the party he founded last year, the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN), which will now run its own candidates in the elections in its ballot box number 9. The ALN, however, was essentially a party built around Montealegre, and most of the structure and voters are expected to follow him across the ballot from the number 9 slot to the number 1.
PLC lawmaker Wilfredo Navarro, the legal representative of the Great Liberal Alliance, said the intention of the electoral pact is to “unify the democratic forces” of Nicaragua to win “100 to 120 mayor’s seats in the upcoming elections.”
In November, Nicaragua will hold municipal elections in all 145 municipalities across the country – the majority of which are currently controlled by the Sandinistas.
Navarro said that Montealegre and Alemán will both “remain the leaders” of their respective political factions, but that the political situation of the country is forcing them “to work together, rather than as a counterweight to one another.”
“The need to defeat the Sandinistas has obligated us to work together,” Navarro told The Nica Times.
ALN lawmaker Jamileth Bonilla told The Nica Times this week that she supports the alliance because it was an important step toward “Liberal unification.”
The Liberal alliance also lays the ground-work for a reform to the PLC to allow for the various Liberal currents to unite under one party structure, which will be renamed the “Liberal Party.”