TEGUCIGALPA – The primaries held over the weekend in Honduras were transparent, international observer Mauricio Tayupanta, a member of Ecuador’s national elections commission, said Monday.
“The process has been normal and transparent, and the (Honduran) national elections commission has been releasing the results,” Tayupanta told reporters.
The primaries, in which voting is not mandatory, took place “without any incidents,” Tayupanta said, adding that citizens were able to freely vote for candidates.
The preliminary results continue running in favor of President Juan Orlando Hernandez, of the National Party; Freedom and New Foundation party candidate Xiomara Castro; and Liberal Party candidate Luis Zelaya, the Honduran national elections commission said.
Hernandez, who is seeking re-election, received 92.21 percent of the 565,956 votes already counted, well ahead of his lone National Party challenger, Roberto Ramon Castillo, who received 47,834 votes, the most recent official results show.
Castro, the wife of ousted former President Mel Zelaya, leads her party’s hopefuls with 93.21 percent of the 224,479 ballots counted, while Rasel Tome and Nelson Avila split the remainder of the vote.
Luis Zelaya, making his first run for the Liberal Party presidential nomination, garnered 56.78 percent of the 188,955 votes counted, followed by Gabriela Nuñez with 108,163 votes, or 33.5 percent, and the remainder split among Carlos Montoya, Enrique Ortez and Eduardo Martell.
The primaries open the way for the general elections on Nov. 26, when Hondurans will choose a new president, three vice presidents, 298 mayors, 128 members of Congress and 20 Central American Parliament members.
Seven parties with representatives in Congress will compete in the general elections.