News ID: 206511
Published: 0257 GMT December 19, 2017

Honduran opposition angry at US backing for election decision

Honduran opposition angry at US backing for election decision
AP

Opposition parties in Honduras have attacked the failure of the US to denounce the controversial declaration of President Juan Orlando Hernández as winner of a widely disputed election.

International observers with the Organization of American States say the vote was so discredited that it was impossible to declare a valid result, and called for a re-run, CNN reported.

But the US State Department noted that an election court had ratified the result of the November 26 election and called on Hondurans to refrain from violent protests.

"The United States notes that Honduras' Supreme Electoral Tribunal has declared incumbent president Juan Orlando Hernández the winner of the November 26 presidential elections," the statement reads.

It calls on Hondurans who disagree with the decision to "raise any concerns" within five days according to Honduran electoral law, and called on people to "refrain from violence." The US statement, tweeted by the US Ambassador to Honduras, urged political parties and leaders to "stress to their supporters the need to resolve their differences peacefully."

Honduras' Supreme Electoral Tribunal said Hernández won the election with 42.9% of the votes, edging his main challenger, Salvador Nasralla, who was declared second with 41.24%.

The opposition accuses Hernandez of stuffing the court with supporters who helped him change the constitution to allow him to seek a second term.

 

Protesters take to streets

 

Hundreds of angry opposition supporters protested in the streets of the capital Tegucigalpa Monday following the announcement of the court's decision.

According to ltimes.com, supporters of Nasralla clashed with soldiers and blocked highways and roads with burning tires. Banks, some schools and many businesses remained closed in the capital of Tegucigalpa and other cities.

Manuel Zelaya Rosales, "Allianza" opposition coordinator and a former President, condemned the US State Department response, saying it "validates the crime of electoral fraud."

"Let’s hold the military and police to account for the murders and the brutal use of violence against our brave people who defend the vote for Allianza and the victory of Salvador Nasralla." It called for an immediate investigation into the murders of "at least 24 compatriots."

The US has a large military base in Honduras, which has led to accusations that both the current and previous US administrations are turning a blind eye to political violence and corruption in the country.

 

   
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