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  • A military police removes a burning tire from a barricade settled by opposition supporters during a protest, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras December 18, 2017.

    A military police removes a burning tire from a barricade settled by opposition supporters during a protest, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras December 18, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Published 18 December 2017

Honduran officials are rejecting calls for new elections in spite of widespread fraud allegations and mass protests.

After the Organization of American States called for new elections in Honduras, a senior government official in the Honduran government flatly rejected the call.

OAS Calls for Honduran Election to be Redone

After the Honduran electoral authorities announced on Sunday that the pro-U.S. right-wing incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez had won the election in spite of widespread allegations of irregularities and mass street protests, the OAS, who had remained largely silent on the issue, said that the electoral process did not meet “democratic standards.”

While the OAS said they could not confirm if there was fraud or not, they called for a new round of elections to clear the ambiguity.

First Vice President Ricardo Alvarez responded sharply, saying that the call was in violation of Honduran sovereignty. “This is an autonomous and sovereign nation ... This is a nation that is not going to do what anybody from an international organization tells it to do.”

Honduras under President Orlando Hernandez had previously backed OAS interference in Venezuela's affairs earlier this year, during the organization's debates on opposition protests against President Nicolas Maduro.

Honduras has been rocked by protests calling for another electoral round following an electoral process ridden with fraud allegations and irregularities, which supporters of center-left candidate Salvador Nasralla say robbed them of the election.

Protesters have been met with heavy police repression, with several deaths and numerous injuries registered in recent weeks.

Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was removed in a U.S.-backed coup in 2009, has been a key actor in both supporting Nasralla, and mobilizing protesters to continue street actions.

Various other international groups have issued calls against the right-wing leadership in Honduras and the alleged electoral fraud. Several U.S.-based human rights groups have called for the United States to revoke its military support to the country, and have condemned their country's role in overthrowing the center-left government of Zelaya.

“We have seen a massive increase in human rights violations, including threats and violence against journalists, Indigenous communities, and human rights defenders, since the 2009 coup,” Elise Roberts of Witness for Peace said.

“The assassination of Berta Caceres marked a new level of state violence and impunity, and the reported fraud in the Nov. 26 elections, and the violence and repression since, are a reinforcement of this illegitimate and violent government,” she continued, referring to the assassination of environmental leader Berta Caceres by state forces.

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