Saturday, June 19

Leftist in Honduras presidential race says she is winner, victim of fraud

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TEGUCIGALPA: The leftist who believes she was elected as Honduras’ next president said Tuesday that her campaign had been hit by massive fraud and that she would announce her plans in 48 hours.

“On Friday, I will give my remarks on the final outcome of the elections. We will defend the will of the people as it was expressed at the polls,” Xiomara Castro, wife of deposed ex-president Manuel Zelaya, wrote in a Twitter posting.

Castro, who would be her country’s first woman president and has not been seen in public since she claimed victory late Sunday, said her victory was decisive, but that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal manipulated 19 per cent of the votes to favor her top rival Juan Orlando Hernandez of the ruling conservative party.

The electoral tribunal has said Hernandez won with 34 to 29 per cent, with 68 per cent of polling stations tallied.

But ‘the TSE (electoral council) hid 19 percent of the ballots on election night which altered the outcome,’ Zelaya wrote on his Twitter account.

“Within 48 hours results from around the country will be in” and the alleged fraud will be ironed out, he said.

“We will confirm our victory, and if it were the opposite, we also would acknowledge it,” Zelaya said warning: “Nobody should speculate; we will look at the dimensions of the fraud — and what was properly done.” Tensions were running high as the political standoff exploded into violence on the streets of Tegucigalpa earlier.

Police beat and used tear gas against about 800 people demonstrating in support of Castro. — AFP