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Honduras street protesters allege electoral fraud


Honduras street protesters allege electoral fraud

Image copyright Reuters

Thousands of people in Honduras have protested in the streets, accusing the authorities of fraud in a presidential election.

The opposition's main contender, Salvador Nasralla, called for protests after saying the electoral court had manipulated results.

His clear lead in Sunday's polls shrank dramatically during the count.

The US state department has urged the authorities in Honduras to review the election results quickly.

Mr Nasralla had been five points ahead of the incumbent, Juan Orlando Hernández, on Monday when the court stopped updating its website.

When it resumed the following afternoon, that advantage disappeared rapidly and Mr Nasralla is now leading by less than one percentage point.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Riot police attended the protests in Honduras's capital, Tegucigalpa

The opposition, and international observers, have been suspicious of the slow pace of counting in a country of fewer than 10 million people. But the authorities said the slow pace was down to votes from remote rural areas taking relatively long to arrive at the counting centre.

Mr Hernández said he was sure the votes from rural areas would be for him, a factor in why both candidates claimed victory the day after the election.

On Tuesday evening Mr Nasralla asked his supporters to protest on his behalf in Tegucigalpa, the country's capital city.

He said: "We've already won the election.

"I'm not going to tolerate this and there are no reliable institutions in Honduras to defend us."

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

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