Honduran opposition urges total vote recount or run-off
Iran Press TV
Wed Dec 6, 2017 07:07AM
Honduras' opposition presidential candidate has demanded either an entire vote recount or a run-off poll following a controversial vote-counting process that resulted in favor of incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez by a low margin but no declared winner.
Salvador Nasralla, who had earlier demanded a recount of at least one-third of the votes, said in a Twitter post on Tuesday that the electoral tribunal now had to review all the voting cards.
"If you don't agree with that, let's go to a run-off between (Hernandez) and Salvador Nasralla," he added.
It took Honduran authorities more than a week to count the votes from the November 26 presidential election in the country of only nine million people.
Early on Monday, electoral authorities said Hernandez had won 42.98 percent of the votes, compared with Nasralla's 41.39 percent. But the authorities stopped short of declaring a winner.
As the results began to trickle in last week, Nasralla was in the lead with a significant margin before a 24-hour hiatus in the official vote count reversed that trend. The opposition candidate soon alleged fraud and called on his supporters to take to the streets. Tens of thousands took to the streets on Sunday in a show of support for Nasralla, a former TV star.
Former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, who was toppled in a US-backed coup in 2009 and now supports Nasralla, also declared through a Twitter message that the opposition was seeking a total recount of the vote, or legislation to allow for a run-off.
Meanwhile, police forces rebelled against the Hernandez administration on Monday, refusing to take part in a crackdown on protesters and calling on the government to address the political stalemate.
A top official at the Honduran electoral tribunal, David Matamoros, invited the opposition to compare their copies of voter tally sheets with the official body's versions. He also said the tribunal would extend a deadline for legal challenges from Wednesday to Friday.
Meanwhile, protest rallies in favor of Nasralla that started last week continued on Tuesday afternoon as scores of people, including police officers, converged at the Tegucigalpa headquarters of Honduras' elite police force yelling "Out, JOH," using President Hernandez's initials.
Hernandez, who has been commended by the US for his crackdown on violent street gangs, has also claimed victory a number of times since the election but avoided making the claim in remarks broadcast on Monday and Tuesday.
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