Honduras. The November 26 presidential election was followed by great confusion and uncertainty. The incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernández (Nationalist Party, PN) sought re-election even though the Constitution forbids it but was allowed to stand after a ruling in the Supreme Court. He led the opinion polls for a long time over his opponent Salvador Nasralla of the Opposition Alliance against the dictatorship. But after an alleged computer system failure and ten hours of uncertainty after the polling stations closed, the Election Commission explained that instead, Nasralla led by 45% to 40% for Hernández after counting just over half of the votes. By then, both Nasralla and Hernández had declared themselves the winners. A few days later, Hernández had taken over the lead and the excitement increased significantly with demonstrations and state of emergency. Although both candidates signed an agreement with the United States Cooperative Organization (OAS) shortly to respect the election results, suspicions of election fraud were spread, and Nasrallah’s supporters protested in the streets. According to the Election Commission, Nasralla had won in six of the country’s provinces, including the second most populous Cortés, while Hernández won in the remaining twelve, including the province of Francisco de Morazán where the capital Tegucigalpa is located. None of the presidential candidates got their own majority in Congress, to which elections were held the same day. For the ruling party PN, six seats were taken despite the party increasing its mandate by seven.
According to Countryaah.com, Nasralla’s coalition had been formed in the wake of the 2009 military coup against President Manuel Zelaya, whose party Libre was part of the coalition, and based its popularity on the stated ambitions to eradicate corruption in the country, for which President Hernández was a symbol. Assessors felt that the election results and the narrow margin would open up for a difficult time for the country’s president and for the country as a whole. In June, a bilateral customs union treaty between Honduras and Guatemala came into force, the first of its kind in Central America, after the agreement was ratified by the parliaments of the two countries. Together, they both make up more than half of the region’s area and population, and the agreement was expected to play a major role in integrating the countries’ markets.