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Honduras opposition calls for annulment of presidential election results

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Military police stand behind a supporter of opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla as his supporters stage a demonstration in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on December 6, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The opposition in Honduras has called on the Supreme Electoral Tribunal in the country to annul the results of a presidential election held two weeks ago, alleging it was “rigged” in favor of incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez.

The opposition initially demanded a partial and then a full recount before it requested the cancellation of the presidential election.

The left-wing anti-government Alliance against the Dictatorship coalition made the cancellation demand late on Friday.

Both the right, represented by Hernandez, and the left, who support 64-year-old former TV presenter Salvador Nasralla, have claimed that they won the November 26 election.

The electoral tribunal has not declared an official winner. It has merely said the votes have been counted, with Hernandez bagging 42.98 percent of the ballots and Nasralla 41.38 percent. The tribunal has also said that the vote count is subject to appeal.

International observers have expressed doubt about the election, with the Organization for American States (OAS) saying the voting process was marred by irregularities.

Hernandez is backed by the United States. On Saturday, the US charge d’affaires in Honduras, Heide Fulton, visited electoral officials asking them to declare Hernandez the winner. Her government, she said, wanted the conclusion of a “credible and transparent” electoral process that confirms that the Honduran people have re-elected Hernandez.

The charge d’affaires of the US in Honduras, Heidi Fulton (R), and the president of Honduras’ Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), David Matamoros, speak to the press in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, December 9, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Uncertainty has plunged Honduras into violence and chaos since the election, with the supporters of Hernandez and Nasralla staging rallies.

Sporadic violence prompted the government to order a state of emergency with a nighttime curfew.

Meanwhile, the London-based rights group Amnesty International condemned the use of “dangerous and illegal tactics” by government forces to crack down on the opposition.

Amnesty said at least 14 people had been killed since the election.

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