Salvador Nasralla, the Honduran leftist presidential candidate, has admitted that he was defeated in the country’s last month election, saying the victory of incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez was imposed by the US on the Honduran nation.
“The situation is practically decided by Washington,” Nasralla said on Friday, adding, “I no longer have anything to do in politics
, but the people, which are 80 percent in my favor, will continue the fight.”
As he spoke, police were busy removing the latest barricade erected around the capital Tegucigalpa by Nasralla’s supporters, who began a series of protest rallies against the vote, prompting Honduran authorities to declare a curfew on December 1.
His announcement came after the White House recognized the re-election of Hernandez despite widespread misgivings about the vote count. Nasralla accused his opponent of holding on to power illegally after gross fraud in the November 26 election.
The electoral body in Honduras, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, delayed the announcement of the results several times. Nasralla, who had been initially in the lead, saw his margin collapse with each delay and finally fell behind Hernandez.
Final results showed the sitting president in the lead only by a razor-thin margin, and Hernandez was officially declared the winner of the elections on Sunday.
The opposition accuses US-friendly Hernandez of stuffing the court with supporters who helped him change the constitution to allow him to seek a second term.
The protests and violence, which broke out over the manner of announcing the results, has killed at least 22 people.