Honduras opposition demands annulment of president's re-election

Tegucigalpa (AFP) –


The Honduras opposition said Wednesday they filed an appeal with election officials demanding that President Juan Orlando Hernandez's re-election be annulled because the recent vote was marred by fraud.

Election officials declared Hernandez the victor after narrowly defeating leftist opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla in the controversial November 26 vote.

Nasralla conceded on December 22 shortly after Honduras' key ally Washington endorsed Hernandez's re-election, following a month of deadly street clashes.

Former president Manuel Zelaya, coordinator of the leftist alliance opposed to Hernandez, filed the appeal with the Supreme Electoral Tribunal late Tuesday.

Zelaya, who was ousted in a bloodless coup in 2009, cited "the fraud in the vote counting, the alteration and falsification of precinct vote results" among other irregularities that resulted in Hernandez's triumph over Nasralla, the "legitimate victor."

Early vote returns in the November election showed a strong Nasralla victory, but vote counting then slowed down and took more than a week to complete, with mysterious breaks in the process.

International monitors from both the Organization of American States and the European Union noted irregularities in the process.

According to election officials, the final results showed Hernandez winning with 42.95 percent of the vote, over Nasralla's 41.42 percent.