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  • Opposition supporters sing Honduras

    Opposition supporters sing Honduras' national anthem at a barricade during a protest after the U.S. backed the re-election of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras December 27, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 December 2017

"It’s not possible to confirm if the (electoral process) was manipulated or if fraud occurred," the observers say.

Despite the fact that Organization of American States, OAS, Secretary General Luis Almagro has urged for a new presidential election in Honduras, OAS observers of the Nov. 26 vote have concluded in their final audit that new elections shouldn’t take place.

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"It’s not possible to confirm if the (electoral process) was manipulated or if fraud occurred," the observers said.

Even though they deem a new vote unnecessary, their 34-page final conclusion of the Honduran presidential election is full of examples of irregularities encountered during the suffrage and counting processes.

The observers said the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, TSE, “acts on party influence ... putting at risk the TSE's impartiality and neutrality of the (state) institution” designed to oversee the Honduran electoral process.

Observers also said that some voters were forced to participate in public, while the right to vote in private is the law. The report went on to mention that ballot boxes arrived to a holding center “opened, incomplete and were missing ballots.” They mentioned there were ballot counting irregularities during the “special scrutiny” of nearly 30 percent of all ballots earlier this month.

The report also concluded that the technology used to transmit the results "was not robust and did not guarantee security ... leaving it impossible to clarify doubts regarding this system."

Almagro added in a communique that the OAS observers were pressured by the government “violating their independence.” He said that the OAS will file a formal complaint regarding political interference in the near future.

Along with pushing for a recount, Almagro also offered to send a delegate directly from the Secretary General's Office to the OAS Permanent Mission in Honduras to review the human rights violations, deaths and detentions that took place during post-election protests.

The Permanent Mission, on orders from the Honduran Secretary of Foreign Relations, promptly denied the formal petition Almagro had posted on his official Twitter account.

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The Permanent Mission accused Almagro of inappropriate use of his Twitter account, “inserting” himself in the national electoral process of Honduras and overstepping his judicial boundaries.

Almagro denied such claims, saying that he and the Secretary General’s Office are trying to give “protection, validity and respect to the human rights of those protesting against the electoral results presented by the TSE." Almagro has since ceased pushing for a new presidential election.

The Families of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras organization has confirmed that 30 protesters were killed between Nov. 30 and Dec. 28 by national security forces protesting the electoral fraud that declared incumbent Juan Orlando Hernandez the presidential winner on Dec.17. He allegedly won with 42.95 percent of the votes, just over Opposition Alliance candidate Salvador Nasralla’s 41.42 percent. Most of those murdered were Opposition Alliance supporters.

Since the elections took place, Nasralla has repeatedly insisted that the TSE violated the electoral process and robbed him of the presidency. He continues to call for his supporters to protest.


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