Alleging Fraud, Candidate Demands Vote Recount in Honduras Presidential Election

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Posted Dec. 4, 2013

Interview with Dan Beeton, international communications director with the Center for Economic and Policy Research, conducted by Scott Harris

honduras

Juan Orlando Hernandez of the conservative ruling National Party was declared the winner of the presidential election held in Honduras on Nov. 24. But the runner-up in the contest, left-wing candidate Xiomara Castro, has charged the election was stolen by fraud and demanded a recount. Castro is the wife of former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted in a coup backed by the military and Hernandez in 2009. According to the Honduran electoral court, Hernandez won 37 percent of the vote, while Castro won 29 percent.

Castro’s Libre party, formed by grassroots activists resisting the 2009 coup, have suffered repression at the hands of police in recent years. During the weekend of the election, three Libre party activists were murdered. At a Libre party rally denouncing election fraud in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa on Nov. 30, Castro and Zelaya led the protest march in a pickup truck carrying the body of a fallen Libre party member who had been shot to death hours before the demonstration began.

Honduran party officials and international delegations observing the election reported witnessing cases of fraud, vote-buying and the intimidation and bribery of poll workers. The Libre Party further charged that there were inexplicable discrepancies between polling station tally sheets and the official results posted by the nation’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal. Under growing pressure from protests, Honduran electoral authorities agreed on Dec. 2 to review vote tallies from last week's presidential election. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Dan Beeton, international communications director with the Center for Economic and Policy Research, based in Washington, D.C., who assesses the conduct and legitimacy of the contested Nov. 24 Honduran presidential election.

For more information on the Center for Economic and Policy Research, visit CEPR.net.

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