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Honduran workers demand transparent election recount

8 December, 2017IndustriALL Global Union affiliates, the Federation of Miners and Metalworkers of Honduras (FETRAMIMH) and the Independent Federation of Workers of Honduras (FITH), have called for a transparent recount of votes and an end to violence following presidential elections in the country. 

The results of the 26 November vote are not yet known, more than a week after voting took place.

The electoral commission (TSE) waited almost ten hours to publish the first results, which put Salvador Nasralla, the Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship candidate, in the lead against Juan Orlando Hernández, the incumbent and National Party candidate for re-election.

Surprisingly, after counting resumed on 28 November, the TSE announced that Hernández was now in the lead. This change and the delay led to accusations of electoral fraud and the climate of uncertainty provoked many street demonstrations. The government imposed a curfew and ten people have so far died in the subsequent repression.

“The country is in a very difficult situation because the Constitution is being violated. There has been a major electoral fraud. The result was due to be announced but the system went down and only restarted ten hours later,” said Joel López, a FITH representative in San Pedro Sula.

Napoleón Villacillas, FETRAMIMH, said he “absolutely opposed the massive fraud and negation of democracy”. He was speaking from El Progreso, near San Pedro Sula, where protestors continue to defy the curfew that has been in place for the last four days.

On 5 December, Nasralla called for the TSE to conduct a fresh count of all ballot papers. President Juan Orlando Hernández finally agreed to this.

“We want a complete recount. We think this is the way to resolve the crisis. Otherwise, the people will not accept the result,” said the trade union leader, Joel López.

Valter Sanches, IndustriALL General Secretary, issued a statement of solidarity with Honduran workers. He said:

“IndustriALL Global Union calls on the TSE to immediately accept the legitimate demands of workers and civil society and ensure votes are counted without further delays, irregularities or manipulation.”

He added:

“IndustriALL opposes the Hernández government’s decision to impose a ten-day curfew. We demand that the government respects the people’s right to demonstrate peacefully, without fear of repression or violence.”