Conflict

Political unrest erupts as Hondurans await results of disputed election

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Supporters of Salvador Nasralla, presidential candidate for the Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship, unload a truck with rocks and tires for a barricade

Supporters of Salvador Nasralla, presidential candidate for the Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship, unload a truck with rocks and tires for a barricade to block a road during a protest caused by the delayed vote count for the presidential election in Tegucigalpa.

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Jorge Cabrera/Reuters

Tensions are high in Honduras as the country waits for presidential election results to be announced tonight.

Both candidates have declared victory as vote counting dragged on for nearly a week.

Early on, opposition leader and TV host Salvador Nasralla had a five-point lead, but the election commission stopped updating the public with the tally.

Supporters of Nasralla have accused incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernández (sometimes referred to as JOH) and his administration of election fraud, and tensions erupted last night with violent protests and looting.

“The general mood and the general feeling of Hondurans is that they've lost all faith and trust that the electoral tribunal are actually doing their job in a democratic and fair way,” says Karen Spring. She’s a coordinator for the human rights organization Honduras Solidarity Network, based in the capital of Tegucigalpa.

Spring worries that if Hernández is declared the victor, violent protests could continue.

The memory of the 2009 military coup that led to Hernández’s presidency is still fresh for Hondurans, Spring says, and protesters don't want a repeat.

She says: “When you go and you talk to people that are blocking the roads, that are protesting, they're saying ‘We're here defending our votes!’” 

You can listen to more about the political unrest in Honduras above. 

In Conflict & JusticeConflictJusticePoliticsGlobal PoliticsGlobal Security.

Tagged: HondurasSalvador NasrallaKaren SpringJuan Orlando Hernández.