FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Xiomara Castro Predicted New President of Honduras,
Ushering in New Era of Democracy
Members of Election Monitoring Delegation Available for Interviews from
CONTACT: Shayna Samuels, 718-541-4785, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Tegucigalpa, Honduras – November 28) – With 51.45 percent of total votes cast, the National Electoral Council (CNE, for its Spanish initials) of Honduras shows Castro obtained 53.61 percent of the vote. Runner-up Nasry Asfura of the governing National Party received 33.87 percent, with Liberal Party candidate Yani Rosenthal at 9.21 percent, in this preliminary count. Voter participation was over 68 percent, according to the CNE. No predictions have been made yet for winners of the 128 representatives to the Honduran National Congress.
“As part of the international delegation monitoring these elections, we congratulate Xiomara Castro on her projected victory, and look forward to a new era of democracy in Honduras,” said Marco Castillo, Co-Executive Director of Global Exchange, an international human rights organization that organized a delegation of over 250 Hondurans and 40 international observers to monitor the election, along with the Honduran organization, CESPAD. “As the Congressional results come in, we urge the continuation of a transparent voting process as well as verification of complaints about irregularities today and in the coming weeks.”
Many irregularities were reported during today’s election, including a statement made by the National Party at 1pm Eastern Time that they were the winners of the election, four hours before voting was scheduled to end – a violation of electoral law. Other election monitors around the country reported long lines, people standing outside polls trying to sway voters, handing out sealed envelopes with instructions on how to vote, and offering roofing and flooring materials and money in exchange for votes. Voters in the US reported being unable to vote as Honduran consulates were unprepared.
In 2009, Honduras suffered a military coup and the country has seen a steady increase in violence, high-level corruption, and criminal activity ever since. In the 2017 elections, the U.S. State Department ignored credible allegations of fraud and recognized the election results, despite the killings and jailing of hundreds of protesters in the aftermath.
“Honduras is a country that is largely marginalized and forgotten,” wrote Gustavo Irías, Executive Director of the Honduras-based Center for Democracy Studies ( CESPAD), in a Newsweek article published in anticipation of this election. “This election is a chance to start a new chapter. It could solve many of the essential problems we face. A free, fair and peaceful electoral process represents an important opportunity for Honduran citizens to reestablish the rule of law.”
Twenty-nine members of Congress sent a letter last week to U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken urging “robust State Department monitoring and public criticism of authoritarian practices to maximize the chance of an inclusive and transparent electoral process.”
Because of ongoing violence and corruption, human rights violations, extreme
poverty, and devastating climate-related disasters, Hondurans represent the
largest nationality crossing the southern U.S. border seeking asylum – more
than 200 families arrive a day.
“It is clearly in the interest of the United States to support a return to
democracy in Honduras,” said Castillo.
“The corruption, violence, human rights violations, social unrest, COVID-19, and powerful consecutive hurricanes have brought the level of deterioration of the country to an extreme level,” siad Irías at a recent press conference. “All of this together helps explain the lack of economic opportunity, social mobility, employment, access to rights, and a dignified life in the country, and the displacement and immigration of vast sectors of society.”
“There is ample evidence that the current government, presided over by Juan Orlando Hernández, has been implicated in various corrupt activities, including drug trafficking. In this autocracy, elections have been held every four years, but they have been of very low quality, very far from international standards of transparent, competitive, fair and peaceful elections. This has been a regime devoid of democratic practices, in which civic space has been reduced to its minimum expression,” wrote Irías in a recent statement.