Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega easily won re-election, garnering 63.95 percent of the vote, with 15.9 percent of the ballots counted, elections officials said.

Ortega, of the Sandinista party, received 254,747 votes, while rival Fabio Gadea, a member of Independent Liberal Party, or PLI, got 115,881 votes, or 29.09 percent.

Voter turnout was around 70 percent, official figures show.

Former President Arnoldo Aleman, who governed Nicaragua from 1997 to 2002, came in third with 24,994 votes, or 6.27 percent, Supreme Electoral Council president Roberto Rivas said.

The government proclaimed Ortega the winner of the general elections as soon as the initial official results showing his big lead over Gadea came out.

"Commander Daniel, who is deeply moved, thanks all of Nicaragua, all of the Nicaraguan family, for this show of love and confidence," first lady and Ortega campaign chief Rosario Murillo said.

Thousands of Ortega supporters packed Managua's streets and plazas to celebrate his victory.

Polls ahead of the vote indicated that Ortega was the favorite to win, but his candidacy was labeled illegal by the opposition because of legal maneuvers he employed to get around the constitutional ban on re-election.

The Nicaraguan Constitution prohibits immediate re-election, but Sandinista magistrates on the Supreme Court declared the article dealing with re-election to not be applicable, opening the door to Ortega's candidacy.

The PLI, meanwhile, said it did not accept the initial results released by the Supreme Electoral Council.

"The figures provided by the Supreme Electoral Council are totally unreal," PLI alliance spokesman Eliseo Nuñez Morales said.

The vote tallies conducted by the party show the 80-year-old Gadea "practically tied" with Ortega and taking more than 40 percent of the vote, the PLI said.

"In this election, if we have to count the last vote, we are going to count the last vote," Nuñez Morales said.