Honduras: the right in power recognizes its defeat in the presidential election

The right in power in Honduras admitted Tuesday its defeat in the presidential election where the candidate of the left, Xiomara Castro, is 20 points ahead of her opponent according to partial results involving more than half of the votes.

“We wish success to those who won the elections,” National Party Central Committee (PN, right) secretary Kilvett Bertrand told local radio station Radio América.

The PN will continue to “work with force and from the opposition to take care of democracy”, he continued. “You can see the climate of peace and tranquility that there is in the country, even if the National Party has not been elected as head of government,” he added.

According to partial results covering 52.07% of the ballots, Ms. Castro, 62, of the Freedom and Refoundation Party (Free) obtained 53.49% of the vote, far ahead of the National Party candidate, Nasry Asfura (33.98% ).

The latter must speak in the coming hours, according to Mr. Bertrand. On the evening of the vote, he had undertaken to respect the result of the vote and had asked that “not a drop of blood” flow.

Hondurans are still awaiting the final results of the election in which Ms. Castro would become the very first woman president of the Central American country.

Since the closing of the polling stations on Sunday, the vote count has progressed slowly.

According to the National Electoral Council (CNE), many minutes arrived in physical form must now be processed electronically, while a first half arrived directly in digital format.

As early as Sunday evening, Xiomara Castro, wife of former President Manuel Zelaya overthrown in 2009 by a coup, claimed victory. The former First Lady promised to “form a government of reconciliation”.

– “Intense polarization”

In this Central American country of 10 million inhabitants, plagued by violence and poverty, participation has reached a “historic” level of over 60%, according to the CNE.

Tuesday, in a preliminary statement, the observation mission of the European Union underlined that the “electoral day had been generally calm and that the transmission of the results went smoothly so far”.

“At the same time, the run-up to the general election was marked by unprecedented levels of political violence and intense polarization,” it wrote in a statement.

“At least six mayors, candidates and activists have been assassinated in the weeks leading up to the elections,” the head of the European mission, Zeljana Zovko, told a press conference on Tuesday from Tegucigalpa.

The announced victory of Mrs. Castro will put an end to twelve years of reign of the National Party. She will succeed President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who is finishing his second term amid suspicion of drug trafficking.

In 2013, Mr. Hernandez had beaten Xiomara Castro by a short head and then flouted the Constitution to run for a second term in 2017. His questionable re-election on the wire against television star Salvador Nasralla had provoked many violent demonstrations.

Ms. Castro will have to rule a country scarred by gang violence, drug trafficking and the consequences of two devastating hurricanes that devastated in 2020 the country where 59% of the population lives in poverty.

Each year, tens of thousands of Hondurans try to join the million of their compatriots who have fled violence and misery, the overwhelming majority in the United States.

Unemployment has almost doubled in one year due in particular to the coronavirus pandemic, going from 5.7% in 2019 to 10.9% in 2020.

With a homicide rate of 37.6 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020, Honduras is also one of the most dangerous countries in the world (excluding conflict zones).

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