Leftist opposition candidate claims victory in Honduras presidential election
Xiomara Castro of the leftist Free Party in Honduras claimed victory in the Central American country’s presidential election Sunday, leading by almost 20 percentage points with more than half of the votes counted.
“Out with war. Out with hate. Out with drug trafficking and organized crime. Out with corruption,” Castro said to her supporters on Sunday evening, according to The Washington Post.
“Today the people have obtained justice. We have reversed authoritarianism,” she added.
As of Monday, Castro had won more than 53 percent of the vote, compared with about 34 percent for Nasry Asfura of the National Party of Honduras, according to the National Electoral Council in Honduras.
The council had yet to declare a winner, as counting was still underway, and the National Party also claimed victory despite the lopsided outcome so far, according to The Associated Press.
Castro, a democratic socialist, is the wife of Manuel Zelaya, the country’s former president who was removed by the military in 2009. The left has not been in power in Honduras since his ouster, the Post noted.
The presidency of Castro, who would would be the first female president in the country, would also mark a major pivot from the conservative policies of the National Party.
National party leaders, including outgoing President Juan Orlando Hernández, have been accused of corruption and linked to U.S. court cases involving drug trafficking, the Post reported.
Given his poor relationship with Castro, Hernández is perhaps more likely to be extradited to the U.S. upon the end of his term in January, per the Post.
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