Honduras President Declared Winner, OAS Calls for New Vote

18 December, 2017

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez has been declared the winner of the country's disputed election.

David Matamoros, head of the election court, announced Sunday night that Hernandez had defeated candidate Salvador Nasralla. Matamoros said the final result was almost 43 percent to 41 percent.

But the Organization of American States (OAS) is calling for a new election as protests continue in Honduras.

An OAS statement said it was impossible to confirm the election results. The organization said there was evidence of "human intrusions into the computer system."

"The only possible path for the winner to be the Honduran people is a new call for general elections." the OAS said.

Rocks are scattered on a road, placed there by protesters, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.
Rocks are scattered on a road, placed there by protesters, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.

Supporters of Salvador Nasralla used rocks and burning tires to block streets and highways around the country Monday. The country's National Police spokesman said some businesses had been looted in San Pedro Sula, Honduras' second largest city.

Universities, banks and some businesses remained closed in the capital city, Tegucigalpa. Some people walked to work as transportation is limited.

At least 17 people have died in violent street clashes since the Nov. 26 election.

"It's better to be locked up in our houses," said Maria Velasquez, a teacher living outside the capital city.

Salvador Nasralla had questioned the vote count early in the process and said he would not recognize it.

The day after the election, Nasralla held a lead over Hernandez and appeared set to win with 60 percent of the votes counted.

Then, the vote counting suddenly stopped. When it restarted more than a day later, the count began to favor Hernandez.

There was no immediate public comment by Hernandez about the election result.

Nasralla traveled to the United States capital, Washington, to present what he called numerous examples of evidence of election wrongdoing. He met Monday with OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro. He said he also planned to meet with officials from the U.S. State Department and human rights groups.

I'm Caty Weaver.

Hai Do adapted this story for Learning English based on Associated Press news reports. Caty Weaver was the editor.

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Words in This Story

intrusion - n. the act of entering a place where you are not wanted or supposed to be present

loot - v. steal things from a place during a war or after destruction

lock up - v. to keep in place for security or restraint