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The Sandinista National Liberation Front (Spanish: Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional) is a Nicaraguan political party founded on the broad leftist principles of the popular front. It led a revolution that in 1979 overthrew the Somoza political dynasty. Following their seizure of power, the Sandinistas ruled Nicaragua for roughly 11 years from 1979 to 1990, during which time they established democratic elections and a national constitution, among other sweeping reforms. Their organization is generally referred to by the initials FSLN and its members are called, in both English and Spanish, Sandinistas. Opposition to the Somoza government was inspired by what Sandinistas termed the anti-imperialist struggle of Augusto C. Sandino during the thirties, decades prior to the "Nicaraguan Revolution".
Today the FSLN remains one of Nicaragua's two leading parties, representing some 40% or more of the Nicaraguan electorate. The FSLN often polls in opposition to the Constitutional Liberal Party, or PLC, which represents a roughly similar portion (though perhaps slightly larger) of the Nicaraguan population. Despite the fact that the FSLN was voted out of power in 1990, its revolution affected many facets of Nicaraguan society and its legacy has left a lasting impression in the country. In the Nicaraguan general election, 2006 former President Daniel Ortega was re-elected President of Nicaragua and the voters brought in the country's second Sandinista government. Ortega was elected President with 38.7% of the vote compared to 29% for his leading rival Eduardo Montealegre of the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance.
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