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  • Opposition leader Salvador Nasralla takes part during a demonstration against the re-election of Honduras

    Opposition leader Salvador Nasralla takes part during a demonstration against the re-election of Honduras' President Hernandez in Tegucigalpa. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 February 2018

They called for the recognition of the leftist candidate as president while ousted ex-leader Zelaya said he didn’t trust the U.N. to solve the crisis.

The Honduran opposition organized a mobilization Friday expressing concerns over the efforts initiated this week by a United Nations mission to try to overcome the political crisis stemming from the reelection of President Juan Orlando Hernandez in the controversial November elections.

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"I do not trust that these organizations will bring us solutions," Manuel Zelaya, coordinator of the leftist Alliance of Opposition Against the Dictatorship, during a rally in front of the United Nations building in the capital Tegucigalpa.

"Out JOH," some 2,000 protesters referring to President Hernandez, and demanding recognition of the Alliance candidate 64-year-old journalist Salvador Nasralla as president.

Nasralla and Hernandez had both sent letters to the U.N. Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, to meditate in the conflict.

Protests erupted in the country after the elections authorities decaled Hernandez as the winner weeks after the vote ended and amid serious allegations of fraud.

The protests were met with brutal police repression which left more than 30 people killed by, according to human rights organizations. "We are not going to accept impositions," stressed former president Zelaya, who was ousted in 2009 U.S.-backed coup.

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"We prefer death rather than leaving the protests," he said amid the ovation of his supporters. Amid the protests a delegation from the alliance went up to the U.N. building to talk with the members of the secretary general’s mission for the second time.

The mission met Thursday afternoon with Hernández, who later, in a press statement, said he was "optimistic" about possible negotiations in the future.

Earlier in the week Nasralla sent a team of representatives from his party with conditions to meet with the U.N. mission.

While he called the meeting “fruitful” he did slam the international organization for having “no interest in resolving the crisis" especially after the “bad” message from the U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres congratulating Hernandez on his new term as president.

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Nasralla is calling for electoral reforms and sanctions for non-compliance by any party or individual in case fraud was proven to have taken place in the Nov. 26 general elections by an independent international investigative team.

The opposition also demands an investigation into the more than 30 protesters killed during the protests, appointing mediators by mutual agreement and that the decisions taken are binding on all parties.

The U.N. mission is composed of Guatemalan Catalina Soberanis, Salvadoran Carlos Vergara, an expert in conflict resolution, and U.S. consultant Marcie Mersky, of the International Center for Transitional Justice.

They are due to go back to New York Saturday and submit a report to the secretary general about the outcome of their meetings in Honduras and on how to proceed.


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