Uncertainty Looms in Honduras Following Sunday’s Elections

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By: The Dawn News / November 28, 2017

On Sunday November 26, Honduras held national, departmental and municipal elections. The elections, that were already viewed as illegitimate by many social movements and organizations, have become even more tumultuous since the Superior Electoral Tribunal has not yet released official results of the elections and despite a clear trend towards the victory of the opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla of the Opposition Alliance, both leading candidates have pronounced their victories.

Photo credit: Honduras Superior Electoral Tribunal

 

On Monday November 27 the Superior Electoral Tribunal gave the last update on the elections which showed the opposition alliance of Salvador Nasralla winning against Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH) by 5% with almost 60% of the votes counted.

The initial rejection of the elections by different sectors of Honduran society has to do with the fact that in Honduras it is illegal to run for re-election. For example the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras stated in November: “We manifest our resound rejection to the new reelection of the murderous, coup supporter president Juan Orlando Hernández. The Constitution of Honduras prohibits the presidential re-election, however the Constitutional Room accepted the appeal of a group of ruling party representatives to declare the prohibition unjust.”

Now, some fear that the delay in the announcement of the election’s results could be due to some fraudulent tactics by the government and the electoral commission. In the mainstream media, there has been almost radio silence about Salvador’s surprising 5-point lead. What they have said was how the gap between Salvador Nasralla and Juan Orlando Hernandez is shrinking and how the results from the rural regions have not come in yet and that the rural area is JOH’s strong area. These comments suggest that there is still possibility that JOH could end up “winning”.

Today, the Superior Electoral Tribunal stated that they will not release any more information until they have all of the ballots counted and that this could be until Thursday. Meanwhile, Salvador Nasralla of Alianza de Oposición has come out and announced his victory with support from the Liberal Party and its candidate Luis Zelaya who recognized their defeat and demanded that the Superior Electoral Tribunal recognize the victory of Nasralla and release the official results and called their behavior unacceptable.

Following the partial release of electoral results that show Nasralla winning, on Monday November 27, thousands of Hondurans took to the streets outside the Superior Electoral Tribunal to demand that they release the complete results and recognize the victory of Nasralla.

Photo credit: AFP

JOH, on the other hand, has refused to recognize the significant lead that Nasralla holds over him, and instead has publicly pronounced his own victory and has declared that “its not over until it’s over”, and has stated that they will wait until the very last ballot is counted before they accept defeat.

At the same time, social organizations and movements have reported that the already extremely militarized capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa, is even more militarized and tensions remain high. The people of Honduras demand clarity, transparency and veracity in a process that since day one has been denounced as illegal and irregular and now only continues to be so!

JOH tweeted: “We’re happy about the overwhelming results at the levels of Municipalities and Provincial Councils nationwide! We continue to wait for the official documents to ratify our resounding triumph in the presidential elections. This isn’t over until it’s over!”. Photo credit: Twitter
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