Published: Sat, December 23, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

USA recognizes re-election of Honduras president despite calls for a new vote

USA recognizes re-election of Honduras president despite calls for a new vote

In a letter to secretary of state Rex Tillerson on Thursday 20 members of the House of Representatives called for the USA to support the OAS' decision, noting the U.S. "has spoken out forcefully to express concerns about electoral processes in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Cuba".

In a statement, the U.S. State Department congratulated President Juan Orlando Hernandez on his re-election, but also urged the country's electoral commission to examine all disputes to the result.

In a public resolution, the party has asked Uruguay's government not to recognize the Honduran government "emerged of an electoral fraud that goes against the will of the people expressed on November 26".

"The government must ensure Honduran security services respect the rights of peaceful protestors, including by ensuring accountability for any violations of those rights", it added.

Electoral officials had until December 26 to declare a victor or the entire election would be declared invalid.

The announcement comes after a month-long standoff between Hernández and his opponent, Salvador Nasralla, who both declared themselves victor amid opposition allegations of fraud. Election observers from the OAS and European Union had found irregularities that called the result into question. She also said Honduras must aim to "heal the political divide in the country" and create election reforms.

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Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in April 2016 while travelling in Iran with her young daughter, Gabriella. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has already languished in prison for more than 18 months.

On Sunday, the TSE declared Hernandez the victor of the November 26 presidential election, with 42.95 percent of the votes to 41.24 percent for Nasralla, with the Opposition Alliance against the Dictatorship.

Then public updates of the count mysteriously stopped for more than a day, and when they resumed, that lead steadily eroded and ultimately reversed in Hernandez's favour.

"Until we reach a concerted solution to the current situation, I ask the worldwide community to refrain from recognizing Hernández and to suspend foreign aid to his unconstitutional government", Nasralla said.

On Thursday, a group of 20 Democratic legislators had asked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to support a repetition of the election, citing the irregularities found by observers.

It called for a demonstration in front of military command headquarters in the capital Tegucigalpa to decry "murders" which it claimed took place during robust crackdowns by security forces. However, the opposition and the Committee of Detained and Disappeared, a non-governmental organization, say at least 24 people died in the unrest.

However, The Associated Press has learned that the leaning toward recognizing the result of the election.

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