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HONDURAS
Electoral campaigns underway
6/14/2013
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Nine parties to participate in the November elections

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) launched the electoral race the start to the electoral race, calling general elections on Nov. 24. In a television appearance on May 23, the president of the TSE, David Matamoros, announced that the 5.3 million voters will elect the next president, 128 members of Congress, 20 deputies to the Central American Parliament and 298 representatives of municipal governments, for a term of four years starting in January 2014.

Nine political organizations have been authorized to take part in the elections, including the right-wing National Party, in office, and the Liberal Party, —which have alternated in power for more than a century —, the leftist Liberty and Re-foundation (LIBRE) of ousted president Manuel Zelaya (2006-2009), and the People’s Force and Action in Resistance (FAPER).

The other parties that will compete are the Innovation and Unity Party, Christian Democratic Party, Democratic Unification Party, the Anticorruption Party (PAC)  and the Patriotic Alliance, the latter being a political-military project led by Romeo Vásquez, former head of the Armed Forces, who led the 2009 coup.

Several analysts agree that the two main themes of these elections will be the problem of public insecurity — Honduras is considered the most violent country in the world, with 85.5 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, according to official figures — and the political polarization that resulted from the overthrow of president Zelaya.

Matamoros himself noted that "this time [the elections] will turn into an ideological struggle between the protagonists of the political crisis of 2009, between the president who was forced out of  his country and the general who many consider responsible for that."

Early polls show Xiomara Castro, wife of Zelaya and the presidential candidate for LIBRE, as the favorite to win the elections. A survey by CID-Gallup in mid-May gives 28 percent of intended votes to Castro, followed by sports commentator Salvador Nasralla, of the center-right PAC, with 21 percent.

Former chancellor and LIBRE’s leader Patricia Rodas said the campaign begins "with terrible hardships, permanent threats and an escalation of violence and destruction."

"We have to face the right’s fear of the people returning to power, in order to rebuild what they tried to destroy with the coup," she said in statements to the press, adding that one of LIBRE’s main proposals is the convening of a constituent assembly that would allow for the creation of a new legal, political and institutional framework for the country.
—Latinamerica Press.


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