Honduras to have first female president after ruling party admits defeat | Honduras| Top stories

Honduras to have first female president after ruling party admits defeat | Honduras

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The ruling Honduran party has admitted defeat in the presidential elections, giving the victory to left-wing opposition candidate Xiomara Castro and easing fears of another contested vote and violent protests.

Tegucigalpa mayor Nasry Asfura, candidate for the National Party’s presidency, said in a statement Tuesday that he had personally congratulated Castro, although only about half of the votes have been counted since Sunday’s election.

The former first lady obtained 53% of the vote and Asfura 34%, with 52% of the counts counted, according to the National Electoral Council. He has 30 days from the election to declare a winner.

Asfura said he met Castro and his family.

“Now I want to say it publicly,” said the Conservative candidate. “May I congratulate her on her victory and as elected president, I hope God enlightens and guides her so that her administration does the best for the good of all of us Hondurans to achieve development and the desire to democracy.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulated Castro a few minutes later.

“The United States congratulates the Honduran people on her election and Xiomara Castro on her historic victory as the first woman president of Honduras,” Blinken said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the next government of Honduras. “

Castro said via Twitter that Asfura acknowledged his triumph. “People, I won’t disappoint you! “

Asfura’s recognition of the result was a relief to many Hondurans who feared a contested election after a debacle in 2017 that led to street protests that left 23 people dead. Following this vote, the government imposed a curfew and only three weeks later, outgoing President Juan Orlando Hernández was declared the winner despite the Organization of American States observation mission calling for a resumption of elections.

Honduran President-elect Xiomara Castro congratulated by National Party candidate Nasry Asfura
Honduran President-elect Xiomara Castro is congratulated by National Party candidate Nasry Asfura. Photograph: National Party of Honduras / AFP / Getty Images

Fearing a similar prolonged electoral standoff and social unrest, many businesses in the Honduran capital had boarded their windows for the election.

Mabel Plata, a 28-year-old nursing student, said she appreciated Asfura’s recognition of the result. “It is a sign that he is a professional and polite person and that he has gone to see Xiomara for the good of the country.”

Plata did not remember another who did the same. “Most still claim to be winners and it is difficult for them to accept defeat.”

Luis Guillermo Solís, former president of Costa Rica and head of the observation mission of the Organization of American States, said on Tuesday during the presentation of the preliminary report of the regional body that Hondurans had overcome some technical difficulties to vote In large numbers.

“Honduran society voted with conviction, happiness and responsibility in a context marked by pandemic and violence, which was timely denounced by the mission,” said Solís. He said the mission had not received any reports of other irregularities or fraud.

Castro rode a wave of popular discontent with 12 years of national party governance, which culminated in Hernández’s second term.

She will face major challenges as president of the Central American country. Unemployment is over 10%, northern Honduras was devastated by two major hurricanes last year, and street gangs are slowing the economy with their extortion rackets and violence, leading to migration to states -United.

On Tuesday, Vielka Yossira López folded jeans at a stand in the vast market on Comayaguela Street.

The 24-year-old single mom said she didn’t vote, but hoped for a change.

“How am I going to waste a day of work going to vote,” López said. “I don’t work, I don’t eat.

When López contracted Covid-19, she was unable to work for two months. Around this time, she sold her bed, refrigerator, television, and cell phone so that she could purchase food and diapers for her three and six year old children.

López makes 200 lempiras, about $ 8.25 per day. She pays $ 1.60 of that amount just for the commute to and from work each day. Her six-year-old has not been to school for over a year.

López hopes that when Castro takes over as president, she brings with her a better understanding of what it takes to raise a family.

“I hope there will be a change by having a wife,” López said. “She’s got kids and everything.”

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