TEGUCIGALPA – Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who was declared president-elect by election authorities after completing a recount of the ballots in the Nov. 26 election, proposed on Tuesday a “national accord” for peace in the Central American nation, while the opposition announced that it will challenge his re-election and the Organization of American States report on the election was called into question.
“As president-elect, I extend my hand and open my mind to listen carefully to others and agree on a national accord in a grand dialogue to consolidate the peace and security of all residents of republic” of Honduras, Hernandez said.
The dialogue, which he proposed on the national radio and television station, would also be designed to strengthen “the path of stability and economic growth, and to foster deep social and institutional reforms,” he added.
“The homeland calls on everyone to create that country of the peace, security, opportunities, prosperity and justice we desire,” he emphasized after on Sunday being proclaimed the winner of the Nov. 26 general election, a result the opposition rejects, claiming that “fraud” was committed.
Opposition presidential candidate Sebastian Nasralla accepted Hernandez’s invitation to engage in dialogue, telling Hable Como Habla (HCH) television from Washington “It’s good that he’s calling for a national dialogue and, of course, (I accept) ... I’ll arrive (on Wednesday) and we can begin in the afternoon.”
The crisis arose over the claims of fraud by Nasralla, which on Nov. 29 led to violent demonstrations, including significant vandalism, that resulted in 20 deaths and heavy material and economic losses.
Dozens of businesses were looted and burned, along with several city halls and other public and private institutions, buses, private automobiles, army trucks.
The city’s second-largest city, San Pedro Sula, remains paralyzed because the enraged protesters have blocked off its access routes with barricades, halting activity at the country’s main port of Cortes, on the Caribbean.
On Sunday, the TSE declared Hernandez the winner of the Nov. 26 presidential election, with 42.95 percent of the votes to 41.24 percent for Nasralla, with the Opposition Alliance against the Dictatorship.