STREET protests are continuing in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa and other cities after the discredited Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TES) declared incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez the winner of the November 26 presidential election.
Progressive challenger Salvador Nasralla, who had a significant lead over his right-wing opponent with 60 per cent of the vote counted before the process ground to a halt, denounced Mr Hernandez as “an impostor.”
He accused the government of committing a major fraud and “whitewashing” a corrupt electoral process.
Mr Nasralla, who travelled to Washington on Sunday to personally convey his protest at the apparent ballot-rigging to Organisation of American States (OAS) secretary-general Luis Almagro, said: “The declaration by the court is a mockery because it tramples the will of the people.”
He insisted that he was confident of victory because “the people do not endorse fraud.”
Former president Manuel Zelaya, a Nasralla ally, called for civil disobedience, declaring: “May God take us having made our confessions, because today the people will defend in the streets the victory that they obtained at the ballot box.”
He urged police and the armed forces to “place themselves under the direction of president-elect Salvador Nasralla” and cease operations against the election protests, in which 18 people have died so far.
OAS election observers issued a statement saying it was impossible to determine the outcome of the vote with enough certainty due to irregularities.
These included “deliberate human intrusions into the computer system, intentional elimination of digital traces,” opened ballot boxes and “extreme statistical improbability regarding levels of participation within the same department,” combined with the narrow vote differential.
“The only possible path for the winner to be the Honduran people is a new call for general elections.
“Respecting democratic values and citizens is the necessary road to safeguard society from death and violence.
“The Honduran people deserve an electoral exercise that offers democratic quality and guarantees. The electoral cycle that the TES gave as concluded today has clearly not been that,” it added.
TES president David Matamoros announced Mr Hernandez’s victory on Sunday night, commenting: “We have fulfilled our obligation. We wish for there to be peace in our country.”
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