Despite heavy rains, an estimated 80,000 Honduran opposition supporters marched in San Pedro Sula on Saturday to protest what they call a "fradulent" presidential election.
Surrounded by his supporters, former presidential candidate for the Opposition Alliance Salvador Nasralla told the crowds, "The people want Salvador Nasralla as the President of Honduras."
"The people won’t stand for this dictatorship," he said, adding, "we won’t stop until we’ve removed the corrupt from power."
Nasralla does not recognize the results of the Nov. 26 Honduran presidential election, which was riddled with accusations of fraud and corruption. He maintains that he won the polls, but would be willing to repeat them.
As late as Dec. 27, Luis Almagro, secretary general of the Organization of American States, OAS, was calling for an election redo because of evidence of countless acts of fraud on part of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, TSE, during and after people went to the polls. European Union election observers listed a slew of electoral “irregularities” in a preliminary report.
Incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez was announced the official winner on Dec. 17 by the TSE, the government agency charged to oversee electoral processes in Honduras. He was announced the winner with 42.95 percent of the votes, just over Nasralla’s 41.42 percent.
At yesterday’s rally in San Pedro Sula, the second most populated city in Honduras, Nasralla also called for political prisoners to be freed. El Nuevo Heraldo reported that some 800 people have been detained so far by police and military forces over the past month for protesting the alleged fraud.
Former President Manuel Zelaya, the director of the Opposition Alliance, reiterated his call for a major national strike from Jan. 20 to 27, running up to the swearing in of Hernandez.
“We’re calling for a national strike blocking all the main public highways, seaports, airports, until the will of the people is respected,” he told the San Pedro Sula crowd.
On Sunday, Nasralla reposted an election campaign video on his Twitter account outlining what he would do for the country while in office, saying he wouldn’t make back-office political deals and "wouldn’t leave any Honduran behind.”
Earlier this week, the TSE announced it would not nullify its official presidential electoral results. The Opposition Alliance had presented 12 glaring irregularities that took place during and after polls closed Nov. 26. The TSE said the opposition’s appeal did not establish grounds to nullify the election and considers the “contentious” election “concluded.”
Nasralla has continually accused the TSE and its director, David Matamoros, of “manipulating” the electoral count on behalf of Hernandez and his National Party, “stealing” the election from him.
EU observers report that the TSE and the National Party need to “depoliticize.”