The leaders of the two primary opposition parties in Honduras have asked for the annulment of the results of the still unresolved presidential election.
Salvador Nasralla and Octavio Pineda each filed paperwork Friday with the election tribunal calling for the votes from the November 26 election to be thrown out.
The vote count had incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez leading Nasralla by a slim 1.6 percentage point margin.
At one point, polling had predicted Hernandez would win handily, but with half the votes counted, Nasralla surprisingly had pulled ahead with a five-point lead before an interruption in the count. When Hernandez regained the lead, Nasralla’s backers claimed fraud in the vote count.
Pineda said the vote should be annulled because, “There have been violations since the president of the republic was allowed to participate in the electoral process when the constitution prohibited it.”
Nasralla said the result should be declared null because of the scandalous fraud his party has discovered.
Hernandez is the first Honduran president to run for a second term, following the Supreme Court’s decision to lift the re-election ban. He was elected in 2014 to a four-year term, but contested the ban.
During ballot counting, Honduras suspended some constitutional rights and imposed a 10-day curfew, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., in an effort to give security forces whatever powers they needed to control protests about the disputed election.
Amnesty International said Friday that “the Honduran government is deploying dangerous and illegal tactics to silence any dissenting voices in the aftermath of one of the country’s worst political crisis in a decade, including preventing lawyers and human rights activists from visiting detained demonstrators.”
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International said, “Honduras seems to be on a very dangerous free fall where ordinary people are the victims of reckless and selfish political games.”