TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Thursday, Jan 26, 2023

Honduras set for woman president as leftist Castro storms towards victory

Honduras set for woman president as leftist Castro storms towards victory

Honduran presidential candidate Xiomara Castro headed for a landslide win in Sunday's election, declaring victory as supporters danced outside her offices to celebrate the left's return to power 12 years after her husband was ousted in a coup.

The election, set to give Honduras its first female president, seemed to have run smoothly, a contrast to four years ago when a close outcome led to a contested result and deadly protests after widespread allegations of irregularities.

With half the ballots counted, Castro, the wife of former President Manuel Zelaya, held a nearly 20-point lead over Nasry Asfura, the capital's mayor and ruling National Party hopeful, who won 34% according to a preliminary tally on Monday.

Jubilant celebrations broke out at Castro's campaign headquarters as the vote count poured in and her lead held up. The offices of Asfura's ruling conservative National Party were deserted.

Supporters of Castro's Libertad y Refundacion (LIBRE) party.

A queue of voters outside a polling station in Tegucigalpa.


A self-proclaimed democratic socialist in a country where few women hold public office, Castro won support of a broad swathe of Hondurans tired of corruption and the concentration of power that grew under the National Party.

"We have turned back authoritarianism," she told supporters late on Sunday, surrounded by her Libre Party faithful, aides and family, including her husband Zelaya, who was ousted when business and military elites allied against him, ushering in a dozen years of National Party rule.

'Peace and justice'


Depending on her policy choices, Castro could reverse a weakening of the Honduran justice system that has benefited corrupt and criminal groups, a trend seen across Central America in recent years.

She has promised to enlist help from the United Nations to strengthen the fight against corruption. She vows to legalize abortion in some cases. She may establish diplomatic ties with Beijing, an issue of concern to Washington.

Business leaders quickly offered congratulations and Castro promised to work "hand in hand" with the private sector.

"We're going to form a government of reconciliation, a government of peace and justice," Castro added.

However, critics have painted her as a dangerous radical, recalling Zelaya's closeness to late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

In her speech, Castro vowed to strengthen direct democracy by holding referendums on key policies. Elsewhere in Latin America, that tool has sometimes in fact strengthened presidential power.

A planned referendum by Zelaya on constitutional reform including allowing a president to be reelected for a second term was a catalyst for the coup against him, with elites uncomfortable about his alliance with Chavez.

Despite such resistance to reelection, a top court packed with current President Juan Orlando Hernandez's allies later changed the constitution to allow him a second term.

Early on Monday, Castro thanked Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Twitter for a message congratulating her.

The election took place against a backdrop of poverty exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, adding to anger fueled by scandals that helped pushed record numbers of migrants to leave for the United States.

Castro, who had run twice before for the presidency, seized on the unpopularity of outgoing Hernandez, who has been implicated in a drug trafficking case in a US federal court.

Hernandez has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, but his party's candidate Asfura was at pains to keep his distance from the president during the election campaign. Castro's husband Zelaya was also implicated by a witness in a US court of having taken a drug bribe. He denied the accusation.

Asfura urged voters to show patience in a social media post, but stopped short of conceding.

The fate of Honduras' 128-member Congress remained in the air with no preliminary results published by the electoral council. If the National Party can keep control, it could complicate life for a Castro administration.

Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
Close
0:00
0:00
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
If a country is denied the right to independence by another, it is not in a union. It is in a dictatorship.
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
British PM Rishi Sunak pledges further action on strikes to 'protect lives'
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman.
Double standards: UK lawmakers attack EU chief over Ireland claims
Yellen hints at ‘national security’ probe into Twitter purchase
Elon Musk reinstates Donald Trump's Twitter account.
George W. Bush and Barack Obama will hold back-to-back disinformation conferences
Mission Improbable: Tom Cruise & Queen Elizabeth
Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico are not single anymore
Matt Hancock is back to the jungle
×