Tags: honduras | vote

Honduran Leftist Candidate Cries Fraud, Calls for Protests

Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 09:23 AM

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Claiming there was a "monstrous fraud", leftist candidate Xiomara Castro late Friday rejected the results of Honduras's presidential election and called for mass protests in the crime-stricken Central American country.

Castro fears that she will be kept from office because of her politics just like her husband, former president Manuel Zelaya, deposed at gunpoint in June 2009 after he aligned with the leftist governments of Cuba and Venezuela.

Conservative Juan Orlando Hernandez declared the winner of the Nov. 24 presidential election on Wednesday.

"Our position is irreversible: so long as we are not allowed to enter the Supreme Electoral Tribunal's (computer) system, we are not going to accept the result," Castro said at a late night press conference.

Pre-vote polls suggested it would be a very tight race, but when the votes were counted Hernandez beat Castro 36.56 to 28.85 percent — a difference of nearly eight percentage points.

"This triumph is being stolen by those who have turned the electoral system into a farce," said Castro, who claimed she had "proof of the disgusting monstrosity."

Castro said that she would not recognize the legitimacy of a Hernandez administration if her rival takes office.

She spoke just moments after her leftist Libre party called a peaceful mass protest for Sunday.

"We all know that in this process, there were major irregularities, that fraud was committed," said Castro.

"The people elected us. And it is necessary to deliver proof decisively," Castro said, promising to rally supporters to flood the country's streets starting Saturday in protest at the alleged fraud.

Castro was vying to become the Central American country's first woman president.

Top election official David Matamoros told local media that the data "shows that the winner of the general elections is Juan Orlando Hernandez."

European Union and Organization of American States observers had called the elections transparent. So did the U.S.-based Carter Center.

But renowned Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon, who witnessed the voting, said there was in fact electoral fraud using various means and methods.

"There was voter ID buying, attempted vote-purchasing at balloting stations and other types of fraud that are in the report that we presented in Honduras," he told AFP.

And an Austrian official with the EU observers said that while their preliminary report may have concluded the elections were transparent, many disagreed.

"There is a large group, which is a majority in meetings (of the EU monitoring mission), that does not agree with the title and content of the preliminary (EU monitors') report," said election observer Leo Gabriel.

"Because it does not seem to us whatsoever that (the election) was transparent."

But within hours of his statement, the EU mission disqualified the Austrian for speaking on his "personal and subjective impressions" when the mission's goal is to analyze broad, national-level data, said fellow election observer Jose Antonio de Gabriel of Spain.

"Transparency does not mean that there are not errors. It means that these can be detected and corrected on time which is what the TSE is doing," the Spaniard added.

Castro, who proposes "Honduran-style democratic socialism," wants to rewrite the constitution and "re-found" the country — a move similar to the one that led to the 2009 coup.

The election winner will inherit a country of 8.5 million people with 71 percent of the population living in poverty and a soaring homicide rate of 20 murders per day, one of the deadliest in the world.

 

© AFP 2017

 
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Claiming there was a "monstrous fraud", leftist candidate Xiomara Castro late Friday rejected the results of Honduras's presidential election and called for mass protests in the crime-stricken Central American country.
honduras,vote
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2013-23-30
Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 09:23 AM
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