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Leftist holds commanding lead in Honduran presidential vote

Leftist Opposition candidate Xiomara Castro held a commanding lead early on Monday as Hondurans appeared poised to remove the conservative National Party from power after 12 years of continuous rule.

Ms. Castro declared herself the winner despite orders from the National Electoral Council to political parties to await official results. “We win! We win!” Castro, Honduras’ former first lady who is making her third presidential run, told cheering Liberty and Re-foundation party supporters when only a fraction of the ballots had been tallied. “Today the people have obtained justice. We have reversed authoritarianism.” She is set to become the first woman President of Honduras.

The National Party also quickly declared victory for its candidate, Tegucigalpa Mayor Nasry Asfura, but the early returns were not promising.

By early Monday, Ms. Castro’s wide early lead was holding up. With 51% of the polling station tallies in, Ms. Castro had 53% of the votes and Mr. Asfura 33%, according to the National Electoral Council preliminary count. With more than 1.8 million votes counted, Ms. Castro held a margin of more than 3,50,000 votes. The council said turnout was more than 68%.

The capital awoke slowly Monday after a long night of celebration. Streets were void of the usual work week traffic and instead conveyed the quiet calm of a holiday morning. As stacks of newspapers hit the sidewalks around the city, it was clear the country’s major outlets could not resist giving the victory to Ms. Castro despite warnings from the National Electoral Council to wait for official results.

Along Morazan Boulevard where thousands partied into the early morning, businesses remained boarded, still uncertain of whether it was safe to open. Graffiti poked a finger in the eye of the National Party, urging its leaders, especially outgoing President Juan Orlando Hernández to hurry toward the exits.


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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 9:23:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/leftist-holds-commanding-lead-in-honduran-presidential-vote/article37759823.ece

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