Honduran President Hernandez declared winner of 26 Nov. election

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 00:38 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • OAS says Honduran presidential election should be redone

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - The Organization of American States (OAS) said late on Sunday that Honduras should hold new presidential elections, after the electoral tribunal declared conservative President Juan Orlando Hernandez the official winner of the bitterly contested 26 November presidential vote.

The tribunal said that Hernandez beat center-left challenger and TV star Salvador Nasralla by 1.53 percentage points, according to the official count, sparking fraud accusations and calls for renewed street protests.

In a nationally televised address, tribunal head David Matamoros said all the challenges presented to it had been resolved and votes were recounted at select polling stations, declaring Hernandez “the president-elect for the Republic of Honduras.”

OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro questioned the tribunal’s decision.

“The people of Honduras deserve an electoral process that confers them democratic quality and guarantees. The electoral process that the tribunal concluded today clearly did not provide that,” Almagro said in a statement.

He said the election was marred by irregularities and deficiencies and called for a new general election.

Honduras has been roiled by political instability and violent protests since the vote, which initial counts suggested Nasralla had won. The count has been questioned by the two main opposition parties, including the Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship, headed by Nasralla, as well as a wide swath of the diplomatic corps.

However, European Union election observers said the vote recount showed no irregularities.

“After comparing a large random sample of voting records provided to us by the Alliance and the original records published on the tribunal’s website, the mission observed that the results presented practically no differences,” said Jose Antonio de Gabriel, the adjunct head of the EU’s mission.

Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who backed Nasralla, took to Twitter, saying Hernandez “is not our president” and urging people to take to the streets in protest.