Honduras tribunal says incumbent Hernandez won election

Honduran security forces fire tear gas at opposition protesters demanding a recount of last months’ contentious presidential elections.
Incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez (left) beat Salvador Nasralla, a TV star, by 1.53 percentage points, according to the official count.
Incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez (left) beat Salvador Nasralla, a TV star, by 1.53 percentage points, according to the official count.PHOTO: AFP

TEGUCIGALPA (REUTERS) - The electoral tribunal of Honduras on Sunday (Dec 17) declared incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez as the official winner of the Nov 26 presidential vote, saying it had resolved all of the challenges presented to the disputed process.

Hernandez beat centre-left Salvador Nasralla, a TV star, by 1.53 percentage points, according to the official count.

"This means the president elect for the Republic of Honduras for the next four years is Juan Orlando Hernandez Alvarado," said David Matamoros, the head of the tribunal, in a nationally-televised address.

Honduras has been roiled by political instability and violent protests since the vote, which initial counts suggested that Nasralla had won. The count has been questioned by the two main opposition parties and a wide swathe of the diplomatic corps.

Former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, who backed Nasralla, immediately took to Twitter, saying Hernandez "is not our president" and calling for people to take to the streets in protest.

The secretary general of the Organisation of American States, Luis Almagro, said earlier on Sunday that "serious questions" still surrounded the results of elections and had asked for "irresponsible announcements" to be avoided.