[QODLink]
Americas

Thousands protest election result in Honduras

Election tribunal says it is willing to review the results but has made no mention of full vote recount.

Last updated: 02 Dec 2013 05:27
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The peaceful protesters want full vote recount (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo) [-]

Honduras' defeated leftist presidential candidate, the wife of ousted former leader Manuel Zelaya, has led thousands of supporters onto the streets of Tegucigalpa to protest an election result she has called fraudulent.

The ruling National Party's Juan Hernandez, who is head of Congress, won last week's election with 36.8 percent of the votes, according to the country's election tribunal. 

Xiomara Castro ran as the candidate of the Liberty and Refoundation Party (LIBRE) - a coalition of leftist politicians, unions and indigenous groups founded by her husband. She came second with 28.79 percent of the vote.

We don't want fraud in Honduras. We don't want a government born out of cheating and deception.

Manuel Zelaya, former Honduras president,

But Castro and Zelaya, who was ousted in a 2009 coup that plunged Honduras into a deep political crisis, have refused to acknowledge the results, demanding a recount and setting the stage for a protracted conflict.

"If we revise the ballot boxes, LIBRE won the election," Zelaya told the protest, the first called by LIBRE since the election. "We don't want fraud in Honduras. We don't want a government born out of cheating and deception."

Review election result

Speaking on local television on Sunday night, David Matamoros, the head of the election tribunal, said the body had spoken with LIBRE and told the party it was willing to allow it to review the electoral record.

However, he made no mention of a full vote recount, which LIBRE has demanded.

"If there is a doubt, and the possibility of clearing up that doubt, we're going to do it," Matamoros said.

LIBRE has said it will keep protesting and Zelaya says the party is willing to go the nation's supreme court to annul the election result.

Given Honduras' recent history of political instability, however, analysts applauded the fact that the march was peaceful.

"LIBRE's decision to take its accusations of fraud down a peaceful and legal path guarantees the political stability of Honduras in the short term," said analyst Francisco Zaravia.

Castro and Zelaya appeared at the march alongside the coffin of 58-year-old Antonio Ardon, a well-known LIBRE supporter who was shot dead by four unknown assailants in Tegucigalpa on Saturday night.

Zelaya said Ardon's killing was politically motivated and perpetrated by "death squads." Honduran police said they did not yet know the motive for the killing.

392

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.