EU and OAS support partial recount for Honduras vote

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The OAS and EU have voiced their support for a partial recount of ballots cast Nov. 26 in Honduras' presidential election, in addition to calling on both major candidates to reach an agreement on a process to review alleged irregularities in the election.

The request to count more than 5,000 contested ballots came from the political coalition supporting opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla, who has lost in the official vote count to incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernández.

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The process, carried out by the official electoral board (TSE), took more than a week to complete. Nasralla lost an initial lead three days into the count, sparking street protests and accusations of fraud and tampering.

"The only possible way for the Honduran people to accept and ... recognize the winner in this electoral process is to reach an agreement among the main candidates," said the head of the OAS observer mission, Bolivia's Jorge Quiroga, presenting a preliminary report.

Quiroga said that both parties should agree on a confirmation process for the 5,173 ballots that Nasralla's party believes are fraudulent.

"The narrow margin in the results as well as the irregularities, errors and systemic problems that have surrounded this election do not allow the mission to be certain of the results," added Quiroga.

The EU OAS report includes a list of additional measures recommended to help the government to peacefully resolve the election, including reviewing the backgrounds of electoral officials and crosschecking polling station data against reported ballots cast.

Pictured: Members of the Honduran National Police and police officers belonging to the COBRA Special Riot Command gather outside COBRA headquarters as they refuse to crack down on demonstrators in Tegucigalpa on Dec. 5.