Honduras's defiant left asks for presidential election recount

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 29, 2013 11:13 PM
Honduras's defiant left asks for presidential election recount

By Gustavo Palencia

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (Reuters) - The party of Honduras' defeated leftist presidential candidate Xiomara Castro demanded a full vote recount on Friday, offering examples of poll fraud that supporters say robbed her of victory this week when conservative Juan Hernandez was declared the winner.

Hernandez, who is head of Congress and enjoys close ties with incumbent president Porfirio Lobo, was declared winner on Monday, promising to tame violence that has made Honduras the world's murder capital.

Castro, wife of former ousted leader Manuel Zelaya, has refused to accept the results, setting the stage for a protracted conflict.

On Friday, Castro's Liberty and Refoundation Party, demanded a full recount of 16,135 ballot boxes, arguing that certificates signed by the parties and submitted to election authorities with local vote tallies had been falsified.

"We have uncovered a disgusting, monstrous fraud, through which the Honduran people have been robbed of the presidency of the Republic," said Castro. "We will not accept the results."

With 89.80 percent of the votes counted, Hernandez garnered 36.59 percent of the vote compared to Castro's 28.84 percent, electoral authorities have said.

Zelaya, Castro's husband, was deposed in a 2009 coup, which plunged the Central American country into deep crisis and turned Honduras into an international pariah.

(This story was refiled Changes dateline to TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, instead of MEXICO CITY)

(Writing by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)