After the election fraud, a state of emergency. With the suspension of constitutional rights for 10 days, the imposition of a curfew from six in the evening to six in the morning, and growing repressive violence that has already caused three deaths and several injuries, the Honduran government is retaliating against the protests of the people, ignited by the blatant electoral fraud orchestrated against Salvador Nasralla, the candidate of the Opposition Alliance, which is fighting the current dictatorship.
It will be difficult, however, to stem the anger of a people who, after the 2009 coup against Manuel Zelaya, sees its will at the polls ignored for the second consecutive time after the fraudulent 2013 elections. They have reacted by occupying streets, bridges and squares, including strategic roads for the transport of Chiquita and Dole bananas and pineapples.
While official figures have stopped at 94.31 percent of the votes counted, with a lead for President Juan Orlando Hernández of about 45,000 votes (1.5 percent), all are waiting for the start of the so-called “special scrutiny,” the hand recount of about 1,000 ballot records that are showing anomalies, representing almost 300,000 votes, in the presence of the opposition and international observers. The Opposition Alliance, however, will not be there, refusing to send its representatives until their demand is met that all the 5,174 ballot records should be verified, as they were introduced into the electronic system of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal while the server went through a string of failures and without the presence of the representatives of the political parties.
They are demanding this because one thing is clear: The vote with 70 percent of polling stations reporting (the part of the data that is available to all parties and was transmitted directly from the polling centers, and thus must be the same as the data in the TSE’s systems) showed a 5 percent advantage for Nasralla. It is “mathematically impossible,” according to the Opposition Alliance candidate, that the trend should reverse itself so drastically with the remaining 30 percent of the votes — incidentally, doing so right after a breakdown of the electronic system. The deputy magistrate of the TSE, Marco Ramiro Lobo, himself admitted as much at the time, talking about an “insurmountable” advantage for Nasralla.
It cannot be a coincidence that during the 2013 elections, when Orlando Hernández was leading by five points with 60 percent of polling stations reporting, the president of the TSE, David Matamoros, told the press: “The figures that we have reported reflect a trend that is irreversible. The outcome is not going to change.”
Nor is it reasonable to expect decisive action from the observers of the OAS delegation, led by Jorge Quiroga, who, in addition to serving as vice president in the regime of General Hugo Banzer, installed by a coup — and thus with some firsthand experience in terms of coups d’état — is also known to be viscerally anti-communist and anti-Chavista. The militants of the Opposition Alliance need to ask themselves just one question: What would Quiroga have said if all this had happened in Venezuela?
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