A full two weeks have passed since polls closed in Honduras’ presidential election and still there is no official winner.
According to the final tally, the incumbent president Juan Orlando Hernandez leads rival Salvador Nasralla by around 1.6%. Nasralla has refused to accept the result, urging his supporters to take to the streets and protest until a new vote is held. He points to a day-long pause in vote counting where his initial lead of over 5% disappeared as evidence of fraud.
Monitors from the Organization of American States (OAS) said the election was “marred with irregularities” and a separate analysis from The Economist found suspicions over the vote count to be credible.
The country’s electoral tribunal has until December 26 to declare an official winner.
Amnesty International reports that 14 people have been killed so far in clashes between protestors and the security forces. Expect this number to increase before the crisis runs its course.
The problem is that both sides are unwilling to stand down. According to reporting from The Economist, Hernandez went so far as to rig the vote count when he saw the election slipping away (it’s worth noting that when the day-long pause occurred, 71% of votes had been counted, Nasralla was leading by 5%, and the votes were being selected at random from all over the country). On the other side, the Nasralla camp believes it has credible evidence that fraud has been committed, and that any pause in protests allows Hernandez an opportunity to normalize the result with the international community.