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article imageTwo candidates claim victory in Honduras presidential election

By Scott Tuttle     Nov 25, 2013 in World
Tegucigalpa - The results of Sunday's election in Honduras are currently being counted as each of the two major opposition parties claim victory.
Juan Orlando Hernandez of the conservative ruling party known as the National Party was the first to claim victory when 24 percent of the vote had been counted. Hernandez made the announcement via his Twitter page in which he wrote, "Thank God and thank you to the Honduran people for this triumph."
Hernandez's cry of victory was soon answered by another Twitter message; this time by the leftist Liberty and Refoundation (LIBRE) Party candidate Xiomara Castro. "Based on the exit poll results that I have received from the whole country, I can tell you: I am the president of Honduras," said Castro.
With more than half the ballots counted, election results are currently showing Hernandez with 34 percent of the vote and Castro with 28 percent.
During a press conference on Monday as the votes were slowly being counted, former president and husband of LIBRE Party candidate Xiomara Castro, Manuel Zelaya accused the election tribunal of counting conservative, Hernandez-leaning districts first in order to make the early results look to favor Hernandez and announced that he and his supporters would "take to the streets" to force a recount should his wife lose the election.
Zelaya became Honduras' president in 2006, beginning his political career as a conservative but shifted to the left under Venezuela's late president Hugo Chavez's influence. Zelaya began planning to revise the constitution which led to fear that he was plotting to allow himself a second term. Thus, the Supreme Court called for an ouster in 2009 that was supported by the Honduran Congress but denounced by the Obama Administration in Washington, D.C.
Castro's campaign, which is seen by some as a blanket attempt for Manuel Zelaya to return to power using his wife as a instrument, promised to create a community police force and and to deploy more soldiers at the border in order to control the drug trade. Like her husband before her, part of her campaign promise was also to make amends to the constitution, which was a major factor in her husband's ouster.
Hernandez has promised to combat crime by expanding the police force and to combat the drug trade by creating a "new military police force" to work alongside the current Honduran army. This has led to fear of future human rights abuses.
There is not likely to be a quick and easy solution to the crime rates in Honduras, which is considered to have the highest murder rate in the world at over 85 per 100,000 people. With a split Congress, whoever the victor is will not so easily be able to implement his or her ideal strategy.
More about Honduras, Election, Juan Hernandez, Zelaya, Xiomara zelaya
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