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'Decisive' win for ruling right wing in Honduras poll

© Photo: AFP

Video by Richelle HARRISON PLESSE

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-26

Conservative candidate Juan Hernandez has an "irreversible lead" over left-wing contender Xiomara Castro in the vote count from Sunday’s presidential election, Honduras’s electoral authority said on Monday after the both rivals declared victory.

Honduras's top electoral body said late on Monday that conservative Juan Orlando Hernandez's lead in the presidential race is "irreversible," with two-thirds of polling stations tallied.

The vote count stood at 31 percent for Hernandez compared with 29 percent for left-wing Xiomara Castro, with 68 percent of polling booths counted, the authority said.

“The outcome is decisive. The figures that we have reported reflect a trend that is irreversible. The outcome is not going to change," said David Matamoros, head of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

Political tension gripped Honduras throughout the day on Monday as both Hernandez and Castro proclaimed themselves victors in the poll.

The clash brought new uncertainty to a country reeling from gang violence, poverty and the wounds of a 2009 coup.

‘Serious inconsistencies’

Hernandez said the result was "not negotiable with anybody" and named a transition team to succeed President Porfirio Lobo, urging Castro to join him in a "great national pact" against violence and poverty.

Hernandez’ election win ensures continuity for outgoing Lobo’s right-leaning economic policies.

It is also a blow to left-wing ex-president Manuel Zelaya, who was deposed in a 2009 coup that plunged Honduras into a political crisis and who had hoped to stage a political comeback behind his wife, Castro.

Zelaya told reporters on Monday that Castro's camp "does not accept" the results and claimed that the election was stolen, citing "serious inconsistencies" in one-in-five polling stations.

Hundreds of Castro supporters protested in front of the tribunal amid a heavy police and military deployment across the nation.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-11-26

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