“Faced with that fear, Ortega decided to suppress any possibility of losing,” said Oscar René Vargas, a political analyst. “And that meant arresting everybody.”

 Back in May, the chances of Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega’s reelection to a fourth consecutive term on Sunday were looking good. His party was arranging the electoral calendar in his favor and the opposition was divided.

Then a CID-Gallup poll gave him a scare: It showed five potential opposition candidates with higher favorability ratings than Ortega.

In the weeks that followed, all five were arrested, as were two other possible contenders.

“Faced with that fear, Ortega decided to suppress any possibility of losing,” said Oscar René Vargas, a political analyst. “And that meant arresting everybody.”

Fast forward to this Sunday. The potential opposition candidates are still jailed or under house arrest, their parties banned, as Ortega faces off against a handful of little-known candidates from small parties friendly to his own Sandinista Front — factions known locally as “zancudos” or mosquitos.

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