Honduras ruling party admits defeat, left-wing president again after 12 years

Twelve years after the coup that brought the conservative National Party to power, Honduras is back with a leftist president. Xiomara Castro, wife of the 2009 deposed President Manuel Zelaya, won Sunday’s presidential election. Her opponent during the elections has now acknowledged his defeat. Castro, of the Freedom and Re-establishment party, becomes the country’s first female president.

Nasry Asfura, mayor of the capital Tegucigalpa, was the candidate for the National Party. With just over half of the votes counted, he won 34 percent of voters. That left him well behind Castro, who now stands at 53 percent.

“I want to say publicly that I congratulate her on her victory. I hope God bless her and that her government does what is best for all Hondurans,” Asfura said after speaking with Castro.

election fraud

In the 2017 elections, Castro was the running mate of leftist candidate Salvador Nasralla. He narrowly lost the election, but international observers noted irregularities. Demonstrations against the results were brutally crushed and 23 people were killed.

Many Hondurans were extremely dissatisfied with incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernández and the National Party. Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Central America and is subject to widespread corruption. Hernández’ brother is in the US convicted of drug trafficking. The president himself is also suspected of involvement in drug trafficking. He is said to have received a million dollars in bribe from the infamous Mexican drug lord El Chapo through his brother.

There is also a lot of gang violence and the murder rate is one of the highest in the world. Hundreds of thousands of Hondurans have in recent years tried to migrate, mainly to the United States.

The US congratulated Castro. Minister Blinken of Foreign Affairs calls her victory historic in a statement. During the coup in 2009, the US kept relatively aloof. Deposed President Zelaya found himself in the left-populist Latin American camp of countries such as Venezuela and Bolivia, which have bad relations with the US.

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