Honduras: TSE Agrees to Recount Ballots From 4,753 Polls

Nasralla says the ballots from these polling stations were from certain sectors of the country in his favor.

Honduras' Supreme Electoral Tribunal, TSE, has conceded to start recounting presidential election ballots from 4,753 polling stations that Salvador Nasralla and his Opposition Alliance believe had “irregularities” after polls closed on Nov. 26.

RELATED: OAS Finally Hints at 'Irregularities' in Honduran Elections Days After Vote

Nasralla said ballots from these polling stations were from certain sectors of the country in his favor and were never added to the official TSE count.

TSE director David Matamoros said they will count the ballots “one by one” and make the information known to the public as each vote is counted. The TSE will then give a copy of each ballot to European Union and Organization of the American States, OAS, delegates for review.

“We want to carry out this process before the eyes of the world,” Matamoros said late Thursday night. He invited Honduran citizens to keep a close eye on the recount process so as to “create as much transparency as possible.” 

During a press conference, Matamoros said “this process will take several days.”

Matamoros finally agreed to the special recount of nearly 30 percent of the presidential ballots after pressure from OAS and EU delegates who reported several counts of possible electoral fraud on part of the TSE. 

In a Wednesday statement, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro said the regional organization would push for a new presidential vote if "irregularities" in the existing electoral count continued. 

He added that the OAS would prefer to avoid new elections, but it was necessary “an exhaustive and meticulous process of verification that determines the existence or not of an electoral fraud.”

RELATED: Manuel Zelaya: The Entire Honduran Electoral System is 'Contaminated'

Matamoros was also under pressure by several Latin American leaders who over the past week have pushed for transparency in the electoral process. The U.S. ambassador to Honduras, Heide Fulton, is supporting the OAS and E.U. observed recount.

Nasralla and the Opposition Alliance have presented evidence of electoral irregularities on the part of the TSE and Matamoros. 

Nasralla said late Wednesday night that the TSE “isn't neutral," adding that the TSE is working on part of President Juan Orlando Hernandez and his right-wing National Party to “steal the elections.” He added, "If we hadn't had international participation, we would truly be in the law of the jungle." 

Matamoros said that with the recount of the nearly 5,000 polling stations, they will not need a full recount of all 18,128 polling stations, as the Opposition Alliance demanded earlier this week.

He added, “in the end we’ll have the results of the entire Honduran population, not just a particular region ... This is historic because we’re creating a transparent process.”

  • Published in World

Honduras Issues 1st Official Election Result, Incumbent in Lead

According to the first official results, the National Party won 42.98 percent of the votes while the Opposition Alliance won 41.39 percent.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Honduras David Matamoros Batson has issued the first official results from the elections that took place on Nov. 26.

RELATED: Opposition Protests To Continue Amid Curfew, Police Repression

According to the results issued by the electoral body, the National Party obtained 42.98 percent of the votes, while the Opposition Alliance received 41.39 percent, with 14 voting tables still to be counted. The TSE said there was a 53 percent participation, representing more than 3,800,000 voters.

Only hours after the government imposed a 10-day curfew and suspension of constitutional rights on Friday, demonstrations dubbed “Caceralazo” took place throughout Honduras to defend presidential election preliminary results which showed opposition candidate, Salvador Nasrallah with a comfortable lead over the right-wing incumbent president Juan Orlando Hernandez.

A day after denouncing vote count irregularities by the TSE after repeated election result postponements, Nasrallah posted on Twitter for people to assemble "To defend the victory of the people!” They were met by police repression.

Three people – including a teenaged girl – have so far been killed in violent clashes following the disputed elections, as the armed forces opened fire on unarmed opposition supporters.

Matamoros said that election officials are "pleased with what we have seen today, a very intense participation of citizens," also noting that "we are respecting the decision they made," reporting that "the TSE has not modified a single ballot."

He also emphasized that the government agency met with representatives of former Honduran president and coordinator of the left-wing Opposition Alliance, Manuel Zelaya, in order to "clear some of his doubts" concerning the election results.

But Wilfredo Mendez of the National Board of Honduras for Human Rights said Sunday, “Beyond a state of siege we are experiencing a state of terror with the suspension of constitutional guarantees."

Nasrallah posted on his Facebook page that the “illegal and unjust curfew is nothing more than a coup against the votes of the people who do not want the current president.”

  • Published in World
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