Honduras presidential vote: Both candidates claim victory


Honduras presidential vote: Both candidates claim victory

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Incumbent Juan Orlando Hernández gave a triumphant speech just before partial results put him in second place

Honduras's President Juan Orlando Hernández and opposition leader Salvador Nasralla have both declared victory in Sunday's presidential poll.

Supporters of the two candidates have been celebrating on the streets.

With 57% of votes counted, the electoral tribunal has so far given Mr Nasralla the lead.

He has just over 45% of the vote and Mr Hernández just over 40%, the tribunal's president announced in the early hours of Sunday.

Salvador Nasralla

  • 64-year-old former TV presenter and sports journalist
  • Heads the Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship, a coalition of parties from the left and the right
  • His parents are of Lebanese descent
  • Ran for the presidency in 2013 but lost to Juan Orlando Hernández
  • Has campaigned on a promise to battle corruption

Juan Orlando Hernández

  • 49-year-old lawyer
  • Heads the right-wing National Alliance
  • Is the 15th of 17 children, two of his siblings are also in politics
  • Is the first Honduran president to run for a second term after the supreme court lifted a ban on re-election
  • Says that if elected, he will continue fighting Honduras' influential criminal gangs

Opinion polls conducted before the election suggested Mr Hernández would win, but Mr Nasralla had recently made headway.

  • Security key issue as Hernández runs again

President Hernández has been heavily criticised by the opposition for standing for a second term even though re-election was prohibited under the Honduran constitution, until a 2015 Supreme Court ruling overturned the ban.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Opposition leader Salvador Nasralla (right) has also proclaimed himself as victor in the vote

Shortly before the electoral tribunal announced the partial results, President Hernández told cheering supporters that he was certain of victory.

He was joined by the crowds in shouts of "Four more years!"

Mr Nasralla was equally confident of victory even before the partial results were made public, telling his backers "We are winning!".

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mr Hernández's supporters were in a jubilant mood, convinced of his victory
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption But supporters of Mr Nasralla were equally jubilant

Six million voters have taken part in the vote, in which members of congress and mayors are also elected.

Corruption scandal

Mr Hernández has been credited with lowering the murder rate in one of the world's most violent countries.

He also conducted a purge against corrupt police officers and created a new militarised police force.

Revamped new maximum-security prisons have helped the government regain control over some jails from inmates.

But the opposition has linked Mr Hernández with a huge scandal, alleging that social security funds had gone into his 2013 presidential campaign.

They also say his government has become increasingly authoritarian, with a new anti-terrorism law making it a crime to march in protest.

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