Honduras

Election results are often contested, which is one reason why governments sometimes invite official observer missions from inter-governmental bodies such as the Organization of American States (OAS) or European Union (EU). But there are times and places when these outside groups do not provide much independent observation. On November 24, Hondurans went to the polls to choose a new president, congress, and mayors. There were a lot of concerns about whether a free and fair election was possible in the climate of intimidation and violence that prevailed in the country.
“The national mobilisation called for by Xiomara Castro on Friday night became a massive, angry funeral procession today in Tegucigalpa,” the Honduras Resists blog reported on November 30 on the protests against the theft of the Honduran elections six days earlier.
Large-scale electoral fraud affected every aspect of the November 24 general elections in the Central American country of Honduras. This has sparked a huge political crisis, which matches and possibly surpasses the crisis produced by the coup d’etat that overthrew president Manuel Zelaya in 2009. The fraud has denied victory to Liberty and Refoundation (LIBRE) party presidential candidate Xiomara Castro, the wife of Zelaya. LIBRE was formed by the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP), which united many sectors that took part in the resistance to the coup.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro criticised US “intervention” in the internal affairs of Latin American countries, and in the Honduran elections, on November 25. Xiomara Castro, candidate for the LIBRE party formed by the resistance movement that opposed the 2009 US-backed coup, declared victory after the vote. However, so did her conservative opponent, National Party's Juan Hernandez , with the Electoral Supreme Court (TSE) declaring Hernandez clearly ahead. LIBRE rejected the TSE's count, alleging serious fraud.
Both leading candidates are claiming victory in Honduras’s disputed presidential election, Democracy Now! The race has pitted Xiomara Castro, wife of ousted President Manuel Zelaya, against right-wing candidate Juan Orlando Hernandez. According to election officials, with more than half of precincts reporting, Hernandez has won 34% of the vote, while Castro has 29%. Castro’s husband, Manuel Zelaya, was ousted in a US-backed coup in 2009.
Three of the main political parties contesting the November 24 election in Honduras are accusing the oligarchy-controlled Supreme Elections Tribunal of vote manipulation and fraud following a massive voter turnout on election day.
A new paper from the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research examined Honduras’ economy and found that much of the economic and social progress experienced from 2006–2009, when left-wing president Manuel Zelaya was in power, have been reversed in the years since. Zelaya was overthrown in an elite-backed military coup in June 2009. The coup was condemned by most of the Americas, but not the United States, which refused to cut ties to the coup regime.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established to prosecute individuals alleged to have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. From the ICC’s inception, the US objected to the possibility that US nationals could be subject to its jurisdiction. The administration of former US president George W Bush waged an aggressive campaign to persuade states to sign “Article 98”, or bilateral immunity agreements. Those that signed agreed not to transfer US nationals to the ICC. Between 2002 and 2009, sanctions were implemented on states that refused to sign.
Candidates from the left-wing Freedom and Refoundation (LIBRE) party, their families and campaign leaders have suffered more killings and armed attacks since May last year than all other political parties in Honduras combined, an October 21 http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001msfnEPYmqw37P16Yj4TbQabe_lXmVQYJIjh6SqTyb...

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