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Official results of the November 26 Honduran presidential elections have taken almost one month to be released. A nearly 30-day-long nightmare recount ensued, reminiscent of the past. There have been accusations of fraud, as well as suspicious computer outages, disturbances, and curfews, and the institutions have been seriously discredited – not just the electoral ones. The results announced by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) have the incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernández of the National Party as the winner. A conservative, his victory over Opposition Alliance leader Salvador Nasralla was quite slim – only 1.5 points, 42.9 per cent to 41.4 per cent. These results not only fail to clear up questions, but also raise serious doubts about the country’s future governability and stability. Nasralla stated that if the electoral authority declared Hernández the winner the country would become ¨ungovernable¨.
These elections have deepened the climate of polarization and tension that has existed since the 2009 crisis, and have demonstrated, once again, the deficient operation of the institutions tasked with safeguarding the proper functioning of democracy. In 2015, a controversial legal interpretation by the Supreme Court of Justice, very close to the party in power, allowed for a breach of the Constitution – which did not allow reelection – paving the way for Hernández to remain in power. Now in 2017, the sluggishness and opacity of the TSE have increased…
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