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Former US President Jimmy Carter, head of a team of independent observers to next February's Nicaraguan elections, Monday proposed independent sampling to ensure an honest result. ``It's only a tentative plan, which involves a sample of several hundred polling booths in different parts of the country, which will be carefully selected to be representative, with a margin of error of two percent,'' he told a Managua news conference.

Carter, completing a three-day visit to Nicaragua, said he had discussed the plan with UN and Organization of American States missions observing the electoral process, and with Nicaragua's Supreme Electoral Council.

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The Sandinista government has not commented, but Electoral Council sources said the plan would probably be discussed in detail when Carter returned to Nicaragua in December. Both the opposition and the government have agreed to Carter as an independent election observer.

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