Honduras president declared election winner; unrest persists – Orange County Register

By FREDDY CUEVAS

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — President Juan Orlando Hernandez was declared the winner of Honduras’ disputed election, but that did little to quell unrest from weeks of uncertainty as challenger Salvador Nasralla called for more protests Monday and the Organization of American States proposed a re-do of the vote.

The OAS, which sent election observers to the country, issued a statement saying it was impossible to determine the outcome with enough certainty due to irregularities including “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 OAS said.

“The Honduran people deserve an electoral exercise that offers democratic quality and guarantees. The electoral cycle that the (Supreme Electoral Tribunal) gave as concluded today has clearly not been that,” it added.

Electoral tribunal president David Matamoros announced Sunday evening that Hernandez had won, saying, “We have fulfilled our obligation (and) we wish for there to be peace in our country.”

According to the court’s official count, Hernandez won with 42.95 percent to 41.42 for Nasralla, who well before the announcement had challenged the result and said he would not recognize it.

There were reports of nighttime demonstrations on main boulevards in Tegucigalpa, the capital, and other cities, and Nasralla’s party called for more protests Monday. At least 17 people have died in violent street clashes since the Nov. 26 election.

There was no immediate public comment by Hernandez, whose sister Hilda Hernandez, a Cabinet minister, died Saturday in…

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