"Nicaragua's general elections may be as important for shaping future Washington-
Managua relations as they are for defining the future government of Nicaragua. At
stake are: the presidency and vice-presidency, all seats in the National Assembly,
municipal governments throughout the country, two 45-seat Regional Councils on the
Atlantic Coast, and, perhaps, twenty Nicaraguan delegates to the Central American
Parliament. The elections have also come to be an important yardstick for the Bush
administration and Congress to measure the legitimacy of the Nicaraguan regime, and
consequently the stance of the United States vis-a-vis that country."