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Honduras - Politics

Public demonstrations, protests, and strikes are common. Most demonstrations are concentrated in/around city centers, public buildings, and other public areas. Most protests have been peaceful; however, on rare occasion, there have been violent confrontations between the police and demonstrators. Additionally, there have been demonstrations and road blockades along key routes (e.g. the road leading to the international airport in Tegucigalpa).

Honduras exhibits the third highest level of system support among the countries surveyed; with higher system support than Canada and the United States; a dramatic increase in system support in 2010. Hondurans are well below the mid-point of 0-100 scale, and are the fourth from the bottom on political tolerance. Regression analysis reveals that support for coups and ideology are the two most significant factors in determining levels of political tolerance. A large plurality of Hondurans express attitudes conducive to “authoritarian stability,” thus perhaps explaining some of the consequences of the political crisis of 2009. The two factors that seemed to be weakly connected to attitudes supportive of stable democracy are satisfaction with the performance of the current president and corruption victimization.

Pervasive societal violence persisted, although the state made measurable progress in reducing it. Reports of violence in rural areas, including the Bajo Aguan region, related to land-rights disputes involving indigenous people, agricultural workers, and landowners remained significantly lower than in recent years. Organized criminal elements, including local and transnational gangs and narcotics traffickers, were significant perpetrators of violent crimes, and committed acts of murder, extortion, kidnapping, torture, human trafficking, and intimidation of journalists, women, and human rights defenders. The most serious human rights problems were corruption, intimidation, and institutional weakness of the justice system leading to widespread impunity; unlawful and arbitrary killings and other criminal activities by members of the security forces; and harsh and at times life-threatening prison conditions.

The Committee for Free Expression (C-Libre) reported that nine journalists and social communicators had been killed as of the end of September. CONADEH reported that a total of 17 journalists, social commentators, and owners and employees of media outlets were killed during 2014 and the first six months of 2015. There also were multiple reports of intimidation of members of the media and their families. CONADEH noted many cases in which journalists, social communicators, and media organizations reported being victims of threats and persecution during the year. Some journalists reported threats by members of organized crime. It was unclear whether these killings and threats were motivated by the victims’ status as journalists or were simply products of generalized violence. Government officials at all levels denounced violence and threats of violence against members of the media and social communicators. The HNP’s Human Rights Office continued to implement protective measures for journalists, social communicators, human rights defenders, labor leaders, fieldworker representatives, and members of the LGBTI community who received threats. Some NGOs criticized the measures as ineffective due to the limited number of persons protected and the limited resources provided to the protected persons.

Following the overthrow of Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua in 1979 and general instability in El Salvador at the time, Hondurans elected a constituent assembly in 1980 and voted in general elections in 1981. A new constitution was approved in 1982, and the Liberal Party government of President Roberto Suazo Cordoba took office. Suazo relied on U.S. support during a severe economic recession, including ambitious social and economic development projects sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Honduras became host to the largest Peace Corps mission in the world, and nongovernmental and international voluntary agencies proliferated.

As the 1985 election approached, the Liberal Party interpreted election law as permitting multiple presidential candidates from one party. The Liberal Party claimed victory when its presidential candidates, who received 42% of the vote, collectively outpolled the National Party candidate, Rafael Leonardo Callejas. Jose Azcona Hoyo, the candidate receiving the most votes among the Liberals, assumed the presidency in 1986. With the endorsement of the Honduran military, the Azcona administration ushered in the first peaceful transfer of power between civilian presidents in more than 30 years.

Nationalist Rafael Callejas won the following presidential election, taking office in 1990. The nation's fiscal deficit ballooned during Callejas' last year in office. Growing public dissatisfaction with the rising cost of living and with widespread government corruption led voters in 1993 to elect Liberal Party candidate Carlos Roberto Reina with 56% of the vote. President Reina, elected on a platform calling for a "moral revolution," actively prosecuted corruption and pursued those responsible for human rights abuses in the 1980s. He created a modern attorney general's office and an investigative police force, increased civilian control over the armed forces, transferred the police from military to civilian authority, and restored national fiscal health.

Liberal Carlos Roberto Flores Facusse took office in 1998. Flores inaugurated programs of reform and modernization of the Honduran government and economy, with emphasis on helping Honduras' poorest citizens while maintaining the country's fiscal health and improving international competitiveness. In October 1998, Hurricane Mitch devastated Honduras, leaving more than 5,000 people dead and 1.5 million displaced. Damages totaled nearly $3 billion.

Ricardo Maduro Joest of the National Party won the 2001 presidential elections, and was inaugurated in 2002. Maduro's first act as President was to deploy a joint police-military force to the streets to permit wider neighborhood patrols in the ongoing fight against the country's massive crime and gang problem. Maduro was a strong supporter of U.S. counterterrorism efforts and joined the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq with an 11-month contribution of 370 troops. Under President Maduro's guidance, Honduras also negotiated and ratified the U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), received debt relief, became the first Latin American country to sign a Millennium Challenge Account Compact with the U.S., and actively promoted greater Central American integration. While the Maduro administration implemented a number of successful economic and security policies, reliable polling data revealed widespread popular rejection of Honduran institutions, underscoring the lack of public faith in the political class, the media, and the business community.

2005 - Jose Manuel "Mel" Zelaya Rosales

Jose Manuel "Mel" Zelaya Rosales of the Liberal Party won the November 27, 2005, presidential elections with less than a 4% margin of victory, the smallest margin ever in Honduran electoral history. Zelaya's campaign theme was "citizen power," and he vowed to increase transparency and combat narcotrafficking, while maintaining macroeconomic stability. The Liberal Party won 62 of the 128 congressional seats, just short of an absolute majority.

In his address to the UN General Assembly on 18 September 20016, President Jose Manuel "Mel" Zelaya employed religious and traditional leftist Latin American rhetoric in what appeared, in the Honduran context, to be an implicit condemnation of U.S. foreign policies promoting democracy and free commerce. The previous week Zelaya warmed up for the UNGA by lauding Bolivia's Evo Morales, suggesting that the economic policies of Argentina's Nestor Kirchner's are an example to be studied, and blasting the "Washington Consensus" as a failure. In a 9/22 press conference, however, the President insisted that his criticisms were not aimed at anyone in particular, but rather at all those who violate free commerce, using the European Union's raising of its banana tariff as an example. Zelaya has a habit of tailoring his remarks to what he thinks his specific audience wants to hear, and shows no/no hesitation in contradicting himself.

Zelaya’s presidency was marked by a series of controversies as his policies and rhetoric moved closer in line with that of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Zelaya signed on to Chavez’ Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) in August 2008, and the treaty was ratified by the National Congress in October 2008. Zelaya’s great offense, for which he had incurred the wrath of the Honduran right wing and its devoted support group in the United States, had been to allow the Central American country to drift slightly to the left—i.e. away from its established position as the “U.S.S. Honduras,” as it was endearingly called during the Cold War. Among his many treasonous acts, Zelaya raised the urban and rural monthly minimum wages to $290 and $213, respectively, and demonstrated an unprecedented willingness to ask communities affected by pernicious foreign corporate mining practices how they felt about the arrangement.

In the final year of Zelaya’s term, he began advocating that a referendum be added to the November 2009 elections regarding reform of the constitution. Zelaya proposed that an informal poll be held on June 28 to gauge public support for his proposal. However, Honduran courts ruled that Zelaya’s plans were unconstitutional and directed that government agencies desist from providing support to carry out the poll. Zelaya ignored the rulings.

Army soldiers entered Zelaya’s residence in the early hours of June 28, 2009, the day of the poll, forcibly seized the pajama-clad Zelaya and transported him to Costa Rica. The National Congress met in an emergency session that same day, declared Zelaya was no longer president, and swore in President of Congress Roberto Micheletti as the new President of the Republic. Contrary to what wes being parlayed by coup defenders/apologists in Washington and in the international media, the vote in Congress June 28 to accept Zelaya's "resignation" and install Micheletti as president was not unanimous. In fact, there was no recorded vote, or even a request for "yeas" and "nays." Some media are acknowledging that the five deputies from the leftist Democratic Unification Party, who boycotted the proceeding, did not vote for the transition of power and concluding the vote was therefore 123-5. However, many deputies were not present, and some who were present were opposed to what was happening but were silenced. Several Liberal Party members, including some holding leadership positions, described intimidation and irregularities in the June 28 proceedings, some alleging there was no quorum present, which would invalidate the actions taken.

Micheletti replaced all the cabinet members who did not accept Zelaya’s ouster. As reflected in resolutions by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations General Assembly, and later in the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the events of June 28 constituted a coup d’etat against a democratically elected government.

Reinforced by the media and several political watchdog organizations, concerted efforts to protect human rights and civil liberties continued up to the June 28, 2009, coup. In the immediate aftermath of Zelaya’s expulsion from Honduras, the de facto Micheletti regime used troops to shut down dissenting media outlets and imposed curfews to prevent anti-coup protestors from forming large groups to voice their opposition. Coup-perpetrators accused ousted President of Manuel Zelaya of attempting to manipulate the constitution seek another term in office — an impossible feat since he was barred from being on the ballot — by holding a non-binding poll in November 2009 on whether to call a referendum on rewriting the Honduran constitution.

The US Embassy perspective was that there was no doubt that the military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired on June 28 in what constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup against the Executive Branch, while accepting that there may be a prima facie case that Zelaya may have committed illegalities and may have even violated the constitution. There was equally no doubt from the US Embassy perspective that Roberto Micheletti's assumption of power was illegitimate. Nevertheless, it was also evident that the constitution itself may be deficient in terms of providing clear procedures for dealing with alleged illegal acts by the President and resolving conflicts between the branches of government.

Hillary Clinton revealed in the hardcover version of her memoir "Hard Choices" that she schemed to ensure Zelaya’s ouster by pushing forward with elections to “render the question of Zelaya moot.” A key passage from the hardcover edition of Clinton’s autobiography had been struck from the paperback version. In the original, she outlined her contributions to Honduran politics in the aftermath of the June 28, 2009, coup against that country’s president at the time, Manuel Zelaya. In her capacity as secretary of state under Barack Obama, Clinton relates, she and various colleagues in the region jointly “strategized on a plan to restore order in Honduras (following Zelaya’s ouster) and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot and give the Honduran people a chance to choose their own future.”

Coup-perpetrators accused Zelaya of trying to strong-arm his way into another term in office, and the Supreme Court and Congress conspired to remove him. His rivals’ justification for the coup was Zelaya’s plan to hold a non-binding poll on whether or not the schedule a referendum on the question of convening a national constituent assembly to rewrite the Honduran Constitution. Even if the non-binding poll went through, Zelaya couldn’t possibly be on the ballot to seek another term in the November 2009 elections.

A large majority of Hondurans did not support the political plans of former President Zelaya, but also did not support the manner in which he was removed from office. Most Hondurans are satisfied with the outcome of the crisis. Ideology is the most significant factor in determining attitudes toward the political crisis. Hondurans who classify themselves as on the “right” in the ideological spectrum are more supportive of the removal of Zelaya, and less supportive of the political plans the former president was pursuing.

Zelaya’s forced removal was universally condemned by the international community, and the OAS issued an immediate and unanimous call for Zelaya’s unconditional return to office. With support from the United States, the OAS designated Nobel Peace Prize laureate and then-Costa Rican President Oscar Arias as mediator to reach a peaceful, diplomatic resolution of the crisis. Through the Arias-led negotiations, the San Jose Accord, a 12-point plan for restoration of constitutional order, was drafted. The plan called for restoration of Zelaya as president, but with a consensus-based “unity government;” establishment of a truth commission and a verification commission under the auspices of the OAS; amnesty for political crimes committed by all sides related to the coup; and early elections to establish a successor as rapidly as possible. In early October 2009, negotiations were moved to Tegucigalpa and renamed the Guaymuras process. On October 30, 2009, President Zelaya and Roberto Micheletti signed the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord. However, President Zelaya broke off his participation in the process of implementing the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord after Micheletti announced on November 6, 2009, that he would form a new cabinet without Zelaya.

Zelaya returned to Honduras on May 28, 2011, paving the way for the country’s return to participation in the OAS on June 1, 2011. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its final report on July 7, 2011.

2009 - Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo

The de facto regime issued a decree on September 27, 2009, suspending most civil liberties and invoking a state of emergency. The de facto regime also issued an executive order giving the executive the right to close any media service it deemed a threat to national security or public order, without a court order.

On October 19, 2009, the de facto regime published a decree abrogating its earlier suspension of civil liberties. The human rights situation significantly deteriorated during the de facto regime’s control, with widespread reports of beatings by security forces and other abuses. In addition, the regime’s movement of security forces into the large cities, in order to maintain its rule, resulted in a significant increase in crime and drug trafficking as traditional security force activities were curtailed. On November 29, 2009, Hondurans elected Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo as President in a previously scheduled free and fair election that attracted broad voter participation. Lobo received the largest number of votes for a presidential candidate in Honduran history. President Lobo was sworn in on January 27, 2010. After assuming office, Lobo formed a government of national unity and convened a truth commission, as set forth in the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord. Since his inauguration, President Lobo has taken important steps indicating his government’s commitment to human rights, including the establishment of a Secretariat of State of Justice and Human Rights. Nevertheless, allegations of violence against and intimidation of opposition activists; journalists; and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community continue to raise concerns regarding human rights conditions.

The coup was accompanied by a huge rise in political violence. By 2012, state security forces had assassinated more than 300 people, and 34 members of the opposition and 13 journalists had disappeared, according to data compiled by Honduran human rights organizations.

2013 - Juan Orlando Hernandez

In 2013 Juan Orlando Hernandez of the National Party won a four-year presidential term in elections that were generally transparent and credible. Some NGOs reported irregularities, including cards offering retail discounts issued near voting stations by the National Party, problems with the voter rolls, buying and selling of electoral worker credentials, and lack of transparency in campaign financing. International observers acknowledged some of these irregularities but reported they were not systematic and not widespread enough to affect the outcome of the presidential election. Observers noted several significant improvements in transparency procedures, including the use of electronic scanning and transmission of vote tally sheets, and the distribution of national identification cards by the National Registry of Persons rather than by political parties. President Hernandez admitted in June that an investigation into corruption at the Social Security Institute had revealed that contributors to his 2013 campaign included companies linked to the corruption scandal.

2017 - Presidential Election

Elections in Honduras are taking place Sunday 26 November 2017 as the Central American country experiences some of the highest rates of crime, corruption, violence and impunity. These circumstances, however, have also garnered some of the highest levels of resistance and electoral participation from the left. The presidential and municipal elections also represent a series of “firsts” in the country’s suffrage and political systems. They are the first time a sitting president has been allowed to run for re-election, the first time several center-left parties coalesced to give the entrenched, right-wing National Party of Honduras, PNH, a competitive run, and the first time they would be the most observed and audited in Honduran history.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez considered running for re-election in the 2017 presidential race and was expected to announce his decision in mid-November 2016, even though there was a fierce debate over whether such a move would even be legal, stirring up old wounds of the 2009 coup and the ill-footed reasons Honduran elites cooked up to justify it. This would mark the first time a sitting or former president in Honduras proposed running for a second term after the Supreme Court overturned a constitutional ban on presidential reelection in 2015.

Thousands of frustrated and fed-up Hondurans protested consistently throughout 2015 and 2016 against the multitude of government corruption scandals, human rights violations and sheer unwillingness to create transparency and accountability within institutions. Hernandez allowed the government to create a commission to investigative the country’s staggering levels of crime and impunity.

Hernandez’s term had been rocked by the killings of human rights and environmental activists. By 2016, Hernandez’s 3rd year in office, Honduras recorded the highest number of killings of environmental and land rights activists, most of whom were killed by state security forces or domestic corporations that back Hernandez, and vice versa.

Organized crime skyrocketed during the administrations of former President Porfirio Lobo and Hernandez. Citizens were reportedly forced to pay out US$200 million to Honduran gangs in 2014, or face violence and possible death. Gangs killed 350 bus drivers and public transport workers between 2011 and 2015 and 220 taxi drivers between 2012 and 2015. They regularly burn public buses in the streets of the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, in retribution for non-payment. In 2011 and 2012, Honduras had the highest murder rate in the world, and in 2014, an average of 66 out of every 100,000 residents were killed.

Honduran President Juan Hernandez promised to push for reelection in 2017 even though the National Congress hadn't approved the change in the Constitution that prohibits The President from serving for more than one term. In 2009 A Military Coup overthrew then president Manuel Zelaya under the pretext that he was looking to change the constitution to allow for reelection. The Coup had the support of the United States and the national business class that are now ironically supporting Hernandez’s reelection push.

President Juan Orlando Hernandez announced 10 November 2016 that he “accepts” the candidacy to run for re-election with his conservative National Party in next year’s presidential race, a move his rivals blasted as unconstitutional. For resistance activists, Hernandez’ candidacy comes as an assault on democracy that rubs salt in the still gaping wounds of the 2009 military coup that ousted former President Manuel Zelaya on the basis of accusations he was trying to seek re-election. Since the coup, the country had seen an escalation in violence and repression, as well as a weakening of democratic insitutions.

The term of current president and PNH candidate Juan Orlando Hernandez had been marked by corruption and crime since he first won the presidency in 2013. His election campaign was fraught with corruption and embezzlement as Hernandez and his party reportedly siphoned off US$90 million from the Honduran Social Security Institute to pay for his campaign against candidate Xiomara Castro, wife of former President Manuel Zelaya. In total, the PNH reportedly stole US$300 million from the social security system while Hernandez was president of the Honduran National Assembly.

Hernandez stacked the Supreme Court with PNH supporters in 2012, facilitating the court’s unconstitutional 2015 vote to change the country’s magna carta to allow elected officials to run for a second consecutive term. This is the first election cycle to allow re-election bids, and Hernandez is taking advantage.

Zelaya's left-wing Libre party — born out of the post-coup national resistance movement to break the bipartisan political system and advocate for rewriting the Honduran constitution to “refound” the state — blasted the government’s presidential reelection scheme as unconstitutional, arguing that only the Honduran people had the power to change the constitution. Zelaya, a democratically-elected leftist, was ousted in a U.S.-supported coup in 2009. Honduras’ Supreme Court made the constitutional change and repeatedly rejected appeals against the move. Libre’s candidate for Honduras’ top office will be Zelaya’s wife Xiomara Castro, who ran as the party’s inaugural candidate in the 2013 election against Hernandez. Her National Party rival won amid widespread complaints of electoral fraud, political repression and corruption in the electoral system.

Hernandez’s main opponent is Salvador Nasralla from the Opposition Alliance. Nasralla is a former Pepsi-Cola executive and television personality, and gathered support from several parties. Nasralla is one of Honduras' best-known faces and backed by former President Manuel Zelaya, a leftist ousted in a coup in 2009. The Opposition Alliance is a coalition of three parties: Libre, the Anti-Corruption Party, known as PAC, and the Innovation and Unity Party, known as PINU. The Guardian described Libre as a conglomeration of “trade union and LGBT activists, human rights defenders, campesino and Indigenous organisations, youth and feminist groups, teachers and intellectuals as well as former Liberals who opposed the coup.” PAC drives an anti-corruption and transparency campaign.

The Opposition Alliance had the support and participation of socialists, social democrats and centrists who want to defeat the PNH monopoly on power. Importantly, the Opposition Alliance represented the first time that center-left parties in Honduras have coalesced to run the same candidates on the same platform. During the 2013 presidential elections, leftist and anti-corruption factions ran separately. Nasralla ran under his self-formed PAC and won 13.5 percent of the votes. Castro ran with Libre and received 28.7 percent of votes.

This would be the country’s most audited and observed election in history with over 1,500 national and 300 international observers. Citizens voted not only for a president and vice president, but also for 129 National Assembly members and nearly 300 mayors across the country. There were an estimated 30,000 candidates running across the country.

Days before the Honduras election The Economist published a blockbuster article titled “Is Honduras Ruling Party Planning to Rig an Election?” They report “The Economist has obtained a recording that, if authentic, suggests the ruling party has plans to distort results in the upcoming election.”

The two hour recording is from a National Party training session. It details five tactics used to influence election results: buy the credentials of small party delegates who supervise the local polling place, surreptitiously allow National Party voters to vote more than once, spoil the votes for other candidates, damage the tally sheet which favors their opponent so it cannot be transmitted electronically to election headquarters. and expedite the tally sheets favoring their party.

Election official Marcos Ramiro Lobo told Reuters on Monday 27 Nocember 2017 afternoon that Nasralla was leading by a margin of five points, with about 70 percent of ballots counted. About noon on Tuesday 28 Nocember 2017 the TSE resumed posting election results after the 36 hour interruption. The new data showed Nasralla’s lead steadily declining and by Wednesday 29 Nocember 2017 the National Party candidate and current President Juan Orlando Hernandez was edging ahead. The Center for Economic and Policy Research has analyzed the data and determined the abrupt swing in elections results was “next to impossible”.

Hernandez declared himself the winner of elections before official results were announced -- and his top rival did the same. According to Honduras' Supreme Electoral Tribunal [TSE] the preliminary results were: Salvador Nasralla with 855,847, leading with 45.17 percent followed by Juan Orlando Hernandez with 761,872 or 40.21 percent and Luis Zelaya with 260,994 or 13.77 percent with 57 percent of the ballots counted. A Televicentro poll had earlier placed current Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, of the right-wing National Party in the lead with 43.93 percent of votes, with left-wing candidate Salvador Nasralla of the Opposition Alliance with 34.70 percent and Luis Zelaya Medrano of the Liberal Party with 17.68 percent trailing Hernandez.

During his first term, Hernandez had implemented a more business-friendly and conservative political platform encouraging investments and modernising the country’s economy. In three years, his government was able to divide the fiscal deficit by three and reduce the number of homicides by close to 50 percent. The results of the vote in Honduras show that the population is keen on pursuing these efforts but expressed their determination to oppose any increased authoritarianism from their president. As a result, if Hernandez resorted to fraudulent practices to steal a reelection, his party “Partido Nacional” single-handedly won both the local and general elections on the same date.

Salvador Nasralla charged on 28 November 2017 that President Juan Orlando Hernandez pressured the TSE to take the victory from the Opposition Alliance. The gap between Salvador Nasralla and the current president Juan Orlando Hernández has reduced, while Hondurans were still waiting for the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) to issue the final results and proclaim the winner. Nasralla, of the Alliance of Opposition against the dictatorship, fell from 45 to 43.29 percent of the votes, while Hernandez rose to 41.22 percent, with 70.59 percent of the polls counted, according to data from the website of the TSE.

Honduras’ Opposition Alliance candidate Salvador Nasralla claimed President Hernandez had fled the country, as Hernandez braces to announce a state of emergency to quell increasingly violent protests against delayed presidential-election results.

The armed forces of Honduras, meanwhile, appealed for the general population to remain calm as the delayed results of last week’s presidential elections triggered increasingly violent protests. Voters have taken to the streets to demonstrate their anger at the ongoing delays amid widespread accusations of fraud committed by the country’s electoral body.

Honduras suspended the right to free movement on Friday 01 December 2017, imposing a dusk-to-dawn curfew and giving the army and police extended powers after looting and protests triggered by a contested election killed at least one person. Five days after polls closed, no clear winner had emerged from Sunday's vote. President Juan Orlando Hernandez had clawed back a thin lead over his challenger, but thousands of disputed votes could still swing the outcome.

Members of the Honduran National Police force, including two of its special military trained forces, the Cobras and Tigres, announced at a press conference 05 December 2017 that they will be on the streets to “protect not repress the Honduran people.” The police units made the announcement to clarify that they are not on strike and that they aren’t interested in higher wages, but are simply refusing to use excessive force on peaceful protesters, as they have been ordered to do by government officials.

Nasralla and the Opposition Alliance demanded a recount of the ballots from all 18,000 polling stations and that the TSE carry out all the opposition’s 11 demands. Matamoros said he would consider the full recount and asked the opposition to put their demand in writing. Candidates have until Dec. 8 to put their demands in writing to challenge official TSE results. An official winner had not been declared. However, according to TSE figures, Hernandez is ahead with 42.98 percent while Nasralla has 41.38 percent of votes. The TSE has counted, at least once, nearly 100 percent of all ballots. By law, the TSE had until Dec. 26 to declare a winner.

Opposition Alliance supporters in Honduras were out on the streets 15 December 2017 in a nationwide protest after presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla and former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya called for the people to begin a “peaceful” and “permanent” national demonstration and labor strike. Military and police forces continued the practice of throwing tear gas into crowds. So far, police and military have killed at least 16 people and wounded over 600 in the several national protests for electoral recounts.

The Electoral Tribunal announced 17 December 2017, the results of the recount, saying presidential candidate and incumbent leader, Juan Orlando Hernandez had won by 1.53 percentage points. However, the OAS electoral observer mission said Sunday that though it could not confirm that the election had been “intentionally manipulated," the process was filled with suspicious inconsistencies. The OAS said the only way for the Hondurans to be properly represented and for the victor to reflect the votes of the people would be to conduct a new election that adheres to the strictest measure of the law.

The opposition candidate, Santiago Nasralla, expressed that "It is clear that there was fraud before, during and after the elections. (...) The President of the Republic at this moment is an impostor, and the Honduran people know it ".

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