Solid news out of the Honduran election is hard to come by. What is clear is that not many people are going to agree on the result. The National Party has claimed victory, based on a count of half the ballots, closed down last night. Although the level of intimidation, bribery, and outright manipulation appeared to be less than in the previous election, independent reports are troubling. For example, from Honduras Culture and Politics:
Looking over those numbers, albeit preliminary, we are struck by the report for Cortés– the Departamento in which is located San Pedro Sula, second-largest city and industrial capital of the country.
These show Salvador Nasralla of the Partido Anti-Corrupción leading with 35.1% of the vote.
LIBRE is in second place, with 23.46% of the votes.
The Partido Nacional is in the third place with 22.15%.
The Liberal Party is down at 18.8%
That strikes us as very, very odd. There was at least one report from an electoral mesa yesterday that said LIBRE votes were being reported as PAC votes. But that would take a lot of votes to be shifted: PAC is said to have 122,362 votes to LIBRE’s 81,796.
From Hermano Juancito:
A US friend of mine who was an international observer in Tegucigalpa maintains that Juan Orlando Hernández [of the Nationalists] was losing in almost every one of the voting places where she and about 180 others were observers. I am especially curious about where his support comes from.
Berta Caceres, a human rights observer, denounces the election.
Radio Globo just reported that the Public Ministry was seized by troops and all personnel were removed. A report that there was a bomb scare has been debunked, and there was belief that they were going to file a judicial action.
unable to bring up the website of the Tribunal Supremo Electoral. It shows that less than half of the ballots have been counted and only 75,000 ballots separate the first and second place candidates.
Honduras Solidarity Network Twitter account
The Supreme Electoral Court
The Americas Blog liveblog
Update: There are serious irregularities. Tiempo is editorializing, The Darkness is Deep, an excessively vague editorial whose basic point is that Honduras is lost. It does, however, mention that there have been irregularities, which emerged early in the vote count.
AP has a weird news article that says, “the electoral count [is] coming to a halt without final results or explanation.” Election observers, at least the ones the AP is listening to, are making no comment. The candidates are remaining silent (this statement is objectively untrue). Four hundred thousand votes are disputed in a contest that has the Nationalist ahead by 100K. Although the final polls showed the Nationalist even with Libre’s Xiomara Castro, the AP thinks that the Nationalist’s call for an even more oppressive military presence won the day. The problem with that is that the Nationalist was getting his surge from the collapse of ant-corruption candidate Nasralla. But Nasralla greatly outperformed the polls, while Xiomara Castro underperformed. So, a plausible scenario is that votes were switched from Castro to Nasralla. This is, I suspect, what RNS of Honduras Culture and Politics meant in the quote given above. The deputies of his party do seem to have outpolled those of Libre, with the Nationals not far behind. Right wing La Prensa is calling it 6:5:5:3:1 for Nasralla’a PAC, Libre and the Nationals, and the two minor parties. So, it’s not blatantly inconsistent.