TODAY NICARAGUA – On September 25, when the “electoral campaign” for the November 7 voting officially began, the account @GG_Gasparin of Gerson Gutiérrez Gasparin, presidential candidate of the Alliance for the Republic (Apre), was created on Twitter, one of five parties registered on the electoral ballot together with the ruling Sandinista Front.
Gutiérrez’s first publication on that social network was a video retweeted from Apre’s account, in which he introduced himself to Nicaraguans. Six days later, his tweet had no reaction: not a like, not a comment or retweet. Nothing.
Gutiérrez is also present on other social networks such as: Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, but his number of followers is barely a dozen and the messages he shares are limited.
In its first weeks, its most far-reaching event was a live broadcast carried out on September 30, through Apre’s Facebook page, whose fanpage was also resumed on September 24 (one day before the start of the campaign), after a year of publishing absolutely nothing. The “record” for video views was 430.
However, Apre’s candidate is the only one of the six candidates for the presidency of Nicaragua, registered in the CSE, which stood out on all social networks, with the start of the campaign.
President Daniel Ortega, who cleared the way for his fourth consecutive presidential term, is also not on any social network, despite the fact that this year the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) directed a “virtual” electoral campaign, without mass rallies or party caravans, due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Of the other four registered candidates, only one has a personal profile on Facebook and another has less than a dozen followers on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Experts in political communication, digital communication analysts and politicians with experience in electoral campaigns, value that “there was no” electoral campaign in Nicaragua and neither was the intention of the participating political parties, all necessary collaborators of the Sandinista Front, perceived to promote your candidates and your campaign proposals.
Some of these parties have complained about the lack of funding for the “electoral campaign”, but they also do not use digital media, which are economically more accessible than traditional media.
Specialists assure that in an electoral process with guarantees and competence, the political parties should have made “noise” on social networks, but the absence of that campaign, which officially closed on November 3, is a sign of the atypical Nicaraguan process, a in charge of a collapsed electoral system under the control of the FSLN, which is demanded not to be recognized by the international community.