With at least 66.7 percent of the 3,233,000 votes cast, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) has stated that Hernández (JOH) leads with 34.08 percent of the votes, followed by Xiomara Castro with 28.92 percent, Mauricio Villeda of the Liberal Party with 20.70 percent, and Salvador Nasralla with 15.64 percent.
The TSE is, according to press reports, saying that the results showing the election of JOH as president are “irreversible”
The lack of public displays of victory has been notable even here in western Honduras. There is almost a damp blanket over us. (There have been demonstrations in Tegucigalpa today.)
Supporters of LIBRE are saddened - some hoping that the full count, or a recount, will bring Xiomara to victory, others seeing the results as more of the same political corruption and maneuvering.
National Party supporters are also subdued, although there were firecrackers in a village I passed by yesterday - mostly to celebrate the election of a National Party mayor (by about 300 votes over the LIBRE candidate).
WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?
A friend postulated that Xiomara’s strategy in the last month was one of the problems. Many undecided voters – “duros,” as one person called them – responded to the fear that Juan Orlando spread.
He spoke of the way of good and the way of evil. So people, fearful in the face of the insecurity and violence, opted for Juan Orlando. Some were possibly frightened by what was perceived as Xiomara’s softness on crimes, since she was against the militarized police.
PROBLEMS ESPECIALLY IN THE VOTE COUNTING
One of the most interesting and troubling things that seems to have happened in various polling places was the buying of credentials.
Parties have members who sit at the tables to scrutinize what happens and to be present when the votes are counted. In several cases it appears that National Party activists were serving at the polls with the credential of another party.
Also, both LIBRE and the Anti-Corruption party are contesting the votes. There are reports of inconsistencies between the reports submitted to the TSE by the polling places and what appears on TSE’s website.
I fear this will go on for quite some time.
We had a spirited discussion during our weekly devotional at Caritas.
As I have been thinking for quite some time, one of the problems is that the Resistance and its party, LIBRE, have not been giving enough emphasis on consciousness-raising in a non-ideological way.
As one person noted, the Honduran populace is basically conservative – perhaps 80% of them.
Another person noted that, even though Honduras need real, radical change, it won’t happen just from the top. There needs to be change in the consciousness of people.
HOW CAN THIS BE DONE?
I think it will mean concerted efforts to make people aware of their ability to make decisions on their own, not depending on politicians. It will mean people realizing that they do not always need to look to political authorities to get things done.
That is a long process, but I think it can be done in many ways – both by larger institutions and by small groups.
A NOTE ON SOURCES
Sources I’ve looked at during these past few days (with a critical eye) include:
I did listen Sunday night to Radio Progresso on line and found their coverage professional and very informative. The music they play is often very radical. Their election page was here. Their main page is here. Radio Progresso and ERIC-SJ are part of the Honduran Jesuits' social ministry.
The website of the government's TSE with results is here.
The best commentaries on Honduras, I believe, can be found at Honduras Culture and Politics blog, here.