Catholic leaders are calling for calm in Honduras as an unexpectedly close election careens toward a contentious outcome.
They also expressed concerns that delays in counting the votes and announcing the official results more than four days after the 26th November election risked undermining confidence in the process and damaging democracy in a country with a recent history of coups and political crises.
The conference of Honduran religious said on Wednesday 29th November that the delay created “an environment and situation of democratic insecurity.”
The previous day, the Honduran bishops’ conference said the delay “only generates inconvenient suspicions and could trigger the same feelings of insecurity and divisions which some of our politicians have led us toward in recent years.”
Honduras held presidential elections on Sunday 26th November; early results showed opposition leader Salvador Nasralla unexpectedly opening a five-point lead on incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez. With 58 per cent of the votes counted, the election tribunal – controlled by Hernandez’s allies – stopped counting and released no information for more than a day.
Picture: A supporter of Honduran opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla gestures while waiting for official presidential election results on Tuesday 28th November in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (CNS photo/Edgard Garrido, Reuters).