Nationalist Liberal Party

The Nationalist Liberal Party (Spanish: Partido Liberal Nacionalista, PLN) was a political party in Nicaragua.

Nationalist Liberal Party
Partido Liberal Nacionalista
PresidentAnastasio Somoza García (first)
Anastasio Somoza Debayle (last)
FounderAnastasio Somoza García
Founded1936 (1936)
DissolvedJuly 20, 1979 (1979-07-20)
Merger ofLiberal Party,
Some Conservatives
De facto
National conservatism
Political positionRight-wing
Colors   Red and Blue
Party flag

When Anastasio Somoza García took power in 1936, the party aligned itself with the United States and other caudillos in Latin America, like Rafael Trujillo, Oswaldo López Arellano and Fulgencio Batista.

From 1936 to 1979, the office of President of Nicaragua was held by members of the Nationalist Liberal Party. When the first phase of the Nicaraguan Revolution was won by the FSLN, the PLN was dissolved by the new government. Many Somoza loyalists later supported or joined Contras rebel groups.

History of the partyEdit

Whilst initially it still featured a liberal agenda (the Liberals having been one of the two main parties of Nicaragua since the 19th century along with the Conservatives), the Nationalist Liberal Party later developed into little more than a political vehicle for the kleptocracy of the Somoza clan.

The party suffered several splits: in 1944, opposing Anastasio Somoza García's intentions to re-run for the presidency, dissident party members such as Manuel Cordero Reyes, Roberto González Dubón, Carlos Morales, Gerónimo Ramírez Brown (minister of public education from 1939 to 1944) and Carlos Pasos formed the new Independent Liberal Party, that functioned for decades to come as a legal, centrist opposition party and briefly sided with the Sandinistas to overthrow Somoza Debayle and cement the victory of the Nicaraguan Revolution. In 1968, another group of members, led by Ramiro Sacasa Guerrero (former minister for labor), split from the Nationalist Liberal Party, disagreeing with Anastasio Somoza Debayle's ambition to re-run. They formed the Constitutionalist Liberal Movement, which later evolved into the Constitutionalist Liberal Party.[1]

The party was banned after the FSLN takeover in 1979.[2]

Notable membersEdit

Electoral historyEdit

Presidential electionsEdit

Election Party candidate Votes % Result
1936 Anastasio Somoza García 112,812 99.83% Elected  Y
1947 Leonardo Argüello Barreto 104,804 61.76% Elected  Y
1950 Anastasio Somoza García 153,297 75.63% Elected  Y
1957 Luis Somoza Debayle 316,998 89.25% Elected  Y
1963 René Schick 408,131 90.48% Elected  Y
1967 Anastasio Somoza Debayle 380,162 70.30% Elected  Y
1974 733,662 91.71% Elected  Y

National Assembly electionsEdit

Election Party leader Votes % Seats +/– Position
1936 112,812 99.83%
30 / 43
  7   1st
1947 104,804 61.76%
24 / 43
  6   1st
1950 153,297 75.63%
28 / 42
  4   1st
1957 316,998 89.25%
28 / 42
1963 408,131 90.48%
28 / 42
1967 380,162 70.30
35 / 52
  7   1st
1972 534,171 75.33%
60 / 100
  25   1st
1974 733,662 91.71%
42 / 70
  18   1st

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "El Nuevo Diario".
  2. ^ [ The World Factbook (1982)/Nicaragua