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Xiomara Castro elected as Honduras' first female president

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)
A boy plays next to a newsstand with a campaign poster showing President-elect Xiomara Castro, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on November 29, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Honduras' former first lady Xiomara Castro has won the country's presidential election, and the ruling party's candidate has conceded defeat.

Conservative National Party presidential candidate Nasry Asfura said on Tuesday he had met with Castro and her family and conceded the Sunday election to her in private.

"Now I want to say it publicly, I congratulate her on her triumph and as president-elect. I hope that God enlightens her and guides her so that in her administration, she does the best for the benefit of all of us Hondurans," Asfura said in a video broadcast on local television.

According to the National Electoral Council (CNE) of Honduras, more than 52 percent of votes were counted by Tuesday evening and Castro, 62, had 53.4 percent support, compared with 34.1 percent for Asfura, who is 63-years-old.

Castro, whose husband Manuel Zelaya was overthrown in a coup in 2009, hails from the left-wing opposition LIBRE Party. She will be Honduras' first female president and will bring the country's left back to power, ending the conservative party's 12-year stint.

Castro has promised to bring about big changes in Honduras, including an overhaul of the country's constitution, fighting corruption with the aid of the United Nations, and loosening restrictions on abortion.

She has also floated the idea of dropping diplomatic support for Chinese Taipei in favor of China.

Meanwhile, when Castro assumes power in January, she will face a range of problems including a high rate of unemployment, crime, and corruption, as well as threats posed by international drug cartels operating through the country.

Outgoing President Juan Orlando Hernandez and his family have been accused of having links to drug traffickers.

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