United States recognizes re-election of Honduras president despite calls for a new vote

24 December, 2017, 02:55 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Opposition supporters hold a Honduran flag as others lie on the floor in front of security forces during a protest in Tegucigalpa Honduras Dec. 22 2017

In a statement, U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said, "We congratulate President Juan Orlando Hernández on his victory in the November 26 presidential elections, as declared by the Honduran Supreme Electoral Tribunal".

The day before thousands of Hondurans protested in front of the United States embassy Tegucigalpa and demanded the immediate departure of the current president, Juan Orlando Hernandez.

Hernandez was confirmed as the victor on Sunday after a partial recount.

US Backs Re-Election of Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández

It also called for the electoral tribunal "to transparently and fully review any challenges filed by political parties".

Almost 30 other lawmakers also sent a letter to Donald Trump calling on him to "suspend all security assistance to Honduras", over abuses committed by security forces during the protests.

"The US is sacrificing support of the Honduran people and nearly everything the US represents - democracy, anti-corruption - for what it thinks is stability". Public updates of the count mysteriously stopped for more than a day, and when they resumed, that lead steadily eroded and ultimately reversed in Hernandez's favor.

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Uproar over the contest led to demonstrations in Honduras that left numerous civilians dead after state security forces opened fire on the protests.

Violent protests erupted across the country, in which Amnesty International said at least 14 people had been killed.

Washington's recognition of the election results followed congratulations sent by Mexico's foreign ministry to Hernandez on Tuesday.

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On the night of the 26 November election, Nasralla was five points ahead Hernandez with almost 60% of the vote counted - until election authorities stopped releasing results.

The legislators said the decision of the State Department to certify the country's progress in protecting human rights and attacking corruption shortly after the election "has helped to foster the perception that the United States is biased, and is either unwilling or unable to serve as an honest broker".

The OAS said Friday that its team of election observers had reported "a series of irregularities and serious deficiencies that surely affected the election results".

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Opposition supporters hold a Honduran flag as others lie on the floor in front of security forces during a protest over a contested presidential election with allegations of electoral fraud in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, December 22, 2017.

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