Honduras braces for trouble as election begins

Asia's Tech News Daily

Honduras braces for trouble as election begins
© Orlando SIERRA Supporters of Tegucigalpa’s mayor and presidential candidate for the ruling National Party Nasry Asfura, aka ‘Papi a la Orden’ attend the campaign’s closing event

Honduras braced for potential violence as polls opened on Sunday to elect a new president to replace Juan Orlando Hernandez, a controversial figure accused of drug trafficking in the United States.

Voters queued up from dawn at some polling stations before they opened officially at 7:30 am (1330 GMT).

“I call on everyone to proceed with this process in peace, calm, without fear and without violence,” said National Electoral Council president Kelvin Aguirre.

More than five million people are registered to vote in what is expected to be a tight race.

Leftist opposition candidate Xiomara Castro led opinion polls last month, but the ruling right-wing National Party (PN) — whose candidate is charismatic Tegucigalpa mayor Nasry Asfura — has had the benefit of better campaign organization and resources.

Honduras braces for trouble as election begins
© Luis ACOSTA Supporters of Honduran presidential candidate for the Libertad y Refundacion party Xiomara Castro de Zelaya take part in the campaign’s closing event

Opposition fears of a rigged poll and reports of pre-election intimidation have led to tension.

“If the PN wins the election, even legitimately, there will be a worrying level of violence,” political analyst Raul Pineda, a lawyer and former PN lawmaker, predicted to AFP.

Four years ago, Hernandez won an unconstitutional second successive term amid cries of fraud from the opposition and international observers.

That sparked a widespread month-long protest, with the subsequent government crackdown leaving more than 30 people dead.

“We are afraid because we work close to where the votes are counted,” Luis Andino, 27, a Tegucigalpa street vendor, told AFP.

Honduras braces for trouble as election begins
© Orlando SIERRA The ruling right-wing National Party — whose candidate is charismatic Tegucigalpa mayor Nasry Asfura — has had more resources to run its campaign

“We’re afraid of losing our jobs if there are riots … and we get kicked out of here.”

– ‘Preparing for war’ –

The concerns come for a country already ravaged by violent gangs, drug trafficking and hurricanes, in which 59 percent of the population of 10 million live in poverty.

“A kind of paranoia has developed, people are preparing for war” by stocking up on food and water, said Pineda.

Honduras braces for trouble as election begins
© Luis ACOSTA Leftist opposition candidate Xiomara Castro led opinion polls last month

But he insists that pressure from Washington — which wants to reduce the triggers for mass Central American mass migration to the US — along with a large corps of international observers, should at least ensure a transparent vote.

Honduras braces for trouble as election begins
© Orlando SIERRA Soldiers stand guard as trucks distributing electoral material leave the National Institute of Professional Formation in Tegucigalpa on November 23

The crucial moment will come three hours after polls close at 5:00 pm, when the National Electoral Council (CNE) is due to announce early results, Gustavo Irias, executive director of the Center for Democracy Studies, told AFP.

Honduras braces for trouble as election begins
© Orlando SIERRA In Honduras, opposition fears of a rigged poll and reports of pre-election intimidation have led to high tensions

“To avoid (violence) will depend on the attitude taken by different political actors, election observers and the US embassy.”

Some 18,000 police and as many soldiers will be on duty around the country.

– ‘No narco-states, only narco-governments’ –

The PN has been in power since Manuel Zelaya — Castro’s husband — was ousted in a 2009 coup supported by the military, business elites and the political right.

Corruption and drug-trafficking scandals have engulfed Hernandez and many of his inner circle in recent years, including Asfura.

Hernandez’s brother Tony is serving a life sentence in a US prison for drug trafficking.

Drug barons that the president helped extradite to the US have accused him of involvement in the illicit trade.

Asfura was accused in 2020 of embezzling $700,000 of public money and was also linked in the Pandora Papers to influence-peddling in Costa Rica.

The third major candidate of 13 in the presidential race, the Liberal Party’s Yani Rosenthal, spent three years in a US jail after admitting to laundering drug-trafficking money.

These scandals have played into former first lady Castro’s hands.

“Honduras is internationally known as a narco-state but there are no narco-states, only narco-governments,” said analyst Pineda.

“People won’t vote for Xiomara (Castro), they will vote against Juan Orlando Hernandez and what he represents.”

Castro, of the LIBRE party, led some opinion polls in October by 12 to 17 percentage points.

Neighboring El Salvador’s populist President Nayib Bukele urged Hondurans on Twitter not to vote for Asfura.

– Unemployment –

For many voters, the main issue is jobs.

Unemployment jumped from 5.7 percent in 2019 to 10.9 percent in 2020, largely because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study by the Autonomous University.

The country was also ravaged by two hurricanes in 2020.

As he begged for money at a traffic light with his eight-month-old daughter in his arms, Elvin Aguilar, 32, said he was hoping the new government would provide “work and everything else.”

Hondurans will also elect the 128 members of the National Congress and 20 representatives of the Central American parliament.


Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Shiny Pokémon will reportedly have distinct sounds, visuals when spawning in Pokémon Legends: Arceus

© Provided by Dot Esports As soon as Game Freak showed off the various types of encounters and reactions wild Pokémon could have in the overworld of Pokémon Legends: Arceus, ... Read more »

Revived Family First Party wins registration after SA Family First bid rejected

© Provided by ABC NEWS Family First Party candidates Tom Kenyon and Deepa Mathew. (Facebook: Family First Party) The Family First Party led by two former Labor MPs will be ... Read more »

New League of Legends Porcelain Protectors cinematic leaks

Riot Games can’t seem to stop content from coming out early recently, with the skin line-themed Porcelain Protectors cinematic leaked early. The cinematic depicts a modern-day adaptation of Ezreal discovering ... Read more »

Woman released from custody after baby found dead in NSW home

© Getty A woman has been released without charge after her arrest following the discovery of an infant’s body inside a house in the New South Wales southern district of ... Read more »

Tongans deafened by volcanic blast as they fled for safety

© Reuters/MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES A satellite image shows the main port facilites before the main eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano, in Nuku’alofa (Reuters) – When Tonga’s Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai ... Read more »

No quarantine in Queensland for vaccinated international travellers

Quarantine has been scrapped for fully vaccinated international travellers entering Queensland. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced today fully vaccinated international travellers will be allowed into Queensland from 1am on Saturday January ... Read more »

Flooded Wide Bay Burnett community offered government grants for its long recovery

© Provided by ABC NEWS Floodwater was inches away from submerging the boat shed when the Mary River peaked at 9.96m. (ABC Wide Bay: Lucy Loram) Just hours after Simon ... Read more »

Becky Miles fears she has COVID amid pregnancy

Just days after announcing she’s expecting her first child, Bachelorette star Becky Miles has shed light on the harsh realities of being pregnant during a pandemic. The 31-year-old took to ... Read more »

Scott Morrison chokes up as he learns of schoolgirl's death live on TV

Prime Minister Scott Morrison choked up during a televised press conference as a reporter told him a man has been charged with the murder of nine-year-old schoolgirl Charlise Mutten whose ... Read more »

From excited fan to big hope... Barbeary is poised for England debut

Alfie Barbeary vividly remembers watching England claim Grand Slam glory in 2016 in Eddie Jones’ first triumph as head coach. Six years on, English rugby’s new tyro has told his ... Read more »

Niall Horan responds to Twitter billboard about manifesting his success

© Provided by Cover Media Niall Horan Niall Horan has responded to a new billboard by Twitter featuring a tweet he wrote before he became famous. The social media company ... Read more »

Struggling WA households in record power bill debt despite $600 handouts, safeguards

© Provided by ABC Business After plummeting thanks to state protections, hardship among WA power users is rising again. (Flickr: Brian Henry Thompson) Poor and struggling West Australian households are ... Read more »

Dutch museums and concert halls open as hair salons to protest Covid-19 rules

© Piroschka van de Wouw, Reuters Museums and concert halls temporarily turned themselves into beauty salons and gyms in the Netherlands on Wednesday in protest against the Dutch government’s coronavirus ... Read more »

Morbius Explained: Who is Spider-Man’s Blood-sucking Vampiric Villain?

After a series of delays setting the movie back a couple of years, it seems like Morbius is just around the corner (whether or not we’ll be subjected to another ... Read more »

‘The opposite of planning’: how Australia put the economy before health of the nation

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Richard Milnes/REX/Shutterstock It’s hard to know the moment Australia’s response to Covid turned from purposeful to a parody, but it was probably when economics ... Read more »

Beijing city raises vigilance as local COVID cases tick higher before Olympics

© Reuters/FABRIZIO BENSCH Preparation for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s capital Beijing ramped up efforts to curb COVID-19 infections, ordering checks among cold-chain firms and urging residents ... Read more »

Dolly Parton is 76!

Fans and famous friends all wanted Dolly Parton to know that they will always love her, as the country icon turned 76 on Wednesday. Dolly’s special day was celebrated by ... Read more »

US and UK start formal talks over Trump's steel, aluminum tariffs

© Getty Images US and UK start formal talks over Trump’s steel, aluminum tariffs The United States and the United Kingdom announced an agreement on Wednesday to begin talks on ... Read more »

McCarthy raises $9.5M at major Washington fundraiser

© Alex Wong/Getty Images House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks during a news conference on Jan. 13. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy raked in $9.5 million at a Wednesday night ... Read more »

Spears case drives California bid to limit conservatorships

© Provided by Associated Press FILE – This April 12, 2018, file photo shows Britney Spears at the 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif.Disability rights activists and ... Read more »

NVIDIA / AMD GPU And CPU Prices Are Set To Rise Even More In 2022

© Provided by Geek Culture Nvidia Announces New Flagship GeForce RTX 3090 Ti GPU Which You Probably Won’t Buy Some things tend to move only in one direction, such as ... Read more »

Aid cuts threaten hospitals in Syria rebel enclave

© OMAR HAJ KADOUR A nurse checks on a patient at the hospital in the Syrian town of Darkush, Idlib province, on January 16, 2022 The crowded hospital in Darkush ... Read more »

First flights carrying aid on their way to tsunami-stricken Tonga

The first humanitarian flights departed for Tonga early Thursday, carrying much needed aid supplies to the volcano and tsunami-devastated Pacific island nation.  Fights departed from Australia and New Zealand after ... Read more »

Unemployment has dropped to 4.2%, the lowest in Australia since the global financial crisis

© Provided by Business Insider Australia Australia’s unemployment rate dropped from 4.6% to 4.2% in December. An estimated 64,800 jobs were created between November and December, according to the latest ... Read more »

Brentford 1-3 Manchester United: Premier League – live!

LIVE – Updated at 22:21 Read more »

Joe Biden agenda struggles as voting rights defeat looms

US President Joe Biden faces internal dissent on the eve of his first anniversary in office, with demoralised Democrats urging him to reset his agenda or risk a wipe-out at ... Read more »

Democrats fail to advance voting rights law as Senate holdouts defend filibuster

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images Senate Democrats failed again to pass sweeping new voting protections on Wednesday, in what may be the most brutal blow yet ... Read more »

Kelly Rizzo Remembers Bob Saget in Emotional Interview: 'He Was the Best Man I've Ever Known In My Life'

Kelly Rizzo fought back tears while remembering Bob Saget in her first TV interview since his untimely death. The Eat Travel Rock blogger opened up to Hoda Kotb on the Today show and remembered ... Read more »

These Trendy Koolaburra by Ugg Boots Cost $100 Less Than Original Uggs

Us Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services. Every season has its go-to slip-on shoe. In spring, it’s slides. In summer, ... Read more »

Senate voting bill blocked by Republican filibuster

Billed as vital to democracy, the Senate is trying yet again to pass voting legislation that Democrats and civil rights leaders say is crucial for fair elections, but that’s almost ... Read more »

Bosses must do more to support menopausal staff at work, warn experts

Employers must create a more ‘understanding’ environment to make fair adjustments for women experiencing the menopause, legal experts have told MPs. Menopausal women who work face stigma and ignorance about ... Read more »

Jared Leto, Anne Hathaway Transform Into Disgraced WeWork Couple For WeCrashed

Watch Lady Gaga Reflect on Her Past as a “Failed” Actress See more videos What to watch next Surfing legend could be locked out of Australia Surfing legend Kelly Slater ... Read more »

Semoga RFID lancarkan perjalanan pulang sempena hari raya

© Provided by Sinar Harian KETIKA ini pengendali Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan (Plus) sedang giat memperluaskan sistem teknologi Identifikasi Frekuensi Radio (RFID) sebagai satu lagi cara bayaran tol tanpa tunai yang lebih ... Read more »

Influencer’s Disaster Hike to Salvation Triggers Attempted Murder Probe

© Provided by The Daily Beast Pablo Marçal via Instagram RIO DE JANEIRO—Brazilian influencer Pablo Marçal, a 34-year-old self-titled “messianic life coach” with over 2 million followers on Instagram, thought ... Read more »

Shadow chancellor: Labour has ditched Corbynite past and is now ‘pro-business'

Labour has left behind its far-left days under Jeremy Corbyn and now has a “totally different mentality” towards business and the economy,  the shadow chancellor has declared. Rachel Reeves vowed ... Read more »

ALEXANDER VON SCHOENBURG: Boris Johnson is a spiffing winner

Please forgive me, a foreigner, for weighing in on the heated debate over your Prime Minister but – Donner und Blitz! – what are you thinking? In Boris Johnson, you ... Read more »

Peru says oil spill caused by Tonga waves is an 'ecological disaster'

© Reuters/PILAR OLIVARES Workers clean up an oil spill in Ventanilla (Refiles to edit headline) By Marco Aquino LIMA (Reuters) – An oil spill at a refinery in Peru during ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic