[QODLink]
Americas

Hernandez declared winner of Honduras vote

Official count finds conservative candidate victorious in presidential election as opposition alleges fraud.

Last updated: 28 Nov 2013 05:46
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Hernandez, a conservative, has been declared victorious over his rival Xiomara Castro [AFP]

Honduras' electoral tribunal has declared Juan Orlando Hernandez the clear winner of the country's presidential elections, despite persisting allegations of fraud from the opposition candidate.

Figures from 81.5 percent of polling stations tallied Wednesday gave Hernandez, a conservative, 35.88 percent of the vote, compared to 29.14 percent for his rival, Xiomara Castro.

The electoral tribunal said Hernandez's lead was insurmountable.

"These numbers that we released today clearly indicate that the winner of the general election is Juan Orlando Hernandez," David Matamoros, president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, said.

"In the coming days, we will issue the official declaration, once we have added the records that are needed."

Castro has accused the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of manipulating 19 percent of the votes to favor Hernandez. Her campaign has called for massive protests over the alleged fraud.

"On Saturday, we are going to summon people to protest. The Libre [Party] and Xiomara [Castro] have been robbed of their victory, and we are going to show it," Castro's husband, ex-president Manuel Zelaya, told Radio and TV Globo.

In a Twitter post on Tuesday, Castro said: "We will defend the will of the people as it was expressed at the polls."

A struggling state

The governments of Colombia, Guatemala, Panama and Costa Rica congratulated Hernandez on his victory, while Nicaragua's leftist President Daniel Ortega also recognised Hernandez as the winner.

Tensions were running high as the political standoff again spread to the streets with protests by about 400 students.

On Tuesday, police beat and used tear gas against about 800 pro-Castro protesters.

About 100 police in helmets and riot gear used gas and then truncheons to beat the chanting youths.

The clash between Hernandez and Castro brought new uncertainty to a country reeling from gang violence, poverty and the wounds of a 2009 coup that removed Zelaya from his seat.

Known as one of the world's deadliest nations, gangs are known to run whole neighbourhoods, extorting businesses as large as factories.

Drug cartels have used Honduras as a transfer point for shipping illegal drugs, especially cocaine, from South America to the US.

Honduras is the poorest country in the Americas after Haiti with the majority of the population living in poverty.

366

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.