Nicaragua elections stir calls for calm

MANAGUA, Nicaragua
Amid recent violent protests over the results of municipal elections in Nicaragua, the country's bishops have called for peace and a recount of votes. Archbishop Leopoldo Brenes Solorzano of Managua said that "people feel defrauded" over the Nov. 9 election results, which favored supporters of leftist Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

In the elections, Ortega allies were declared winners in 94 of 146 municipalities, including the capital, Managua, and the second-largest city, Leon. But government opponents have charged that results in many cities were rigged, based on irregularities in tallies and the fact that the government excluded foreign and many local election observers. Church leaders have organized a procession for peace to coincide with the Nov. 23 feast of Christ the King.

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