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US Stops Aid to Nicaragua Over Election Concerns


The United States has suspended an American-run aid program in Nicaragua due to growing political violence in that country.

The head of the Millennium Challenge Corporation John Danilovich said Tuesday the recent election in Nicaragua shows the administration of President Daniel Ortega is no longer committed to holding peaceful and fair elections.

The U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation helps developing countries that show a commitment to good governance, economic freedom and the elimination of extreme poverty.

Nicaragua has been in political turmoil since early November, when its Supreme Electoral Council said Mr. Ortega's ruling Sandinista Party had won 105 of the 146 mayoral elections. Mr. Ortega's opponents say the elections were rigged.

The United Nations, along with the European Union and the U.S., have expressed concern about the level of transparency in Nicaragua's voting system.

The election process was marred by violence and controversy over the government's decision to ban two opposition parties from fielding candidates.

Mr. Ortega has defied Washington since his return to power in 2006 by allying himself with anti-American Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and communist Cuba.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.


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