TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Honduran voters have given the ruling National Party four more years in the presidency even though crime worsened and poverty and unemployment increased in this poor nation under outgoing President Porfirio Lobo.
Juan Orlando Hernandez, 45, the party’s candidate who campaigned on a law-and-order platform, has all but won the hotly contested presidential race, electoral authorities said late Monday in declaring his lead “irreversible.”
Even before the announcement, his main competitor, Xiomara Castro, had challenged the official returns and claimed victory for herself. Her husband, former President Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted in a 2009 coup, said they wouldn’t accept the results.
With about 68 percent of the votes counted from Sunday’s election, Hernandez had 34 percent to 29 percent for Castro in an eight-candidate field.
“It’s not the final result, but it’s an irreversible trend,” tribunal spokeswoman Lourdes Rosales said.