Fireworks and music have been filling the air since midnight. Preliminary results of the National Election give the victory to Daniel Ortega, candidate for the FSLN. It is still possible that the candidate for the right wing ALN, Harvard trained banker Eduardo Montealegre, will close the gap and cause the elections to go to a second round. Should this happen the currently divided anti-sandinistas will unite under one candidate and defeat the FSLN, but at this point of time it seems unlikely that there will be a second round.
From what I have seen and heard up to this point of time, the elections have been the cleanest and most orderly in the last sixteen years. Everything has been calm, and even with the preliminary results giving the sandinistas a victory, there has been no violence that I know of.
Will a sandinista victory be as wonderful as some hope or as terrible as some fear? It is not very likely. Although they will win the presidency, they will have a minority in National Assembly. That means that they will have to negotiate with one of the two right wing parties to pass any laws or even the national budget. Should the right unite against them in the legislature; it will be very hard for a sandinista government to do much of anything. They will also have to work within a legal framework restricted by neoliberal laws, a free trade agreement and within IMF conditions.
I will write more when I have a chance.