Honduras tribunal says incumbent Hernandez received election

Incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez won last month's contested election by 1.53 percentage points over center-left opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla, Honduras' electoral court said Sunday.

Hilda Hernandez, sister of President Juan Orlando Hernandez, and five other people were killed in a helicopter crash Saturday on a mountain near the Honduran capital.

He said the election was marred by irregularities and deficiencies and called for a new general election. The announcement was made shortly after Nasralla, the candidate of the Alliance Opposing the Dictatorship, traveled to Washington to present arguments before the Organization of American States and the U.S. State Department over the denounced electoral fraud.

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal has yet to declare a victor in the hotly contested election, held almost three weeks ago, amid heightened political tensions.

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The outcome of those meetings would help determine what steps to take next, he added.

John Creamer, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, told Nasralla the State Department was studying both the OAS and European Union reports and did not speak in favor of or against new elections, Tony Garcia, an adviser to the candidate present in the meeting, told Reuters. The opposing coalition coordinated by former president Manuel Zelaya, who was toppled by a coup in 2009, announced they will return to the streets throughout the country on Monday to continue protesting what they denounce as an electoral fraud.

Honduras has been roiled by political instability and violent protests since the vote, which initial counts suggested Nasralla had won. The count has been questioned by the two main opposition parties and a wide swath of the diplomatic corps. It then gave no further updates for about 36 hours.


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