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. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for frequently used acronyms and abbreviations related to as well as country profile of Honduras.
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.
Despite not having known the tragedy of a real conflict in the intestine, the Republic of Honduras it is still trying to overcome the negative consequences of the Central American crisis of the 1980s. Only after the end of the civil war in Nicaragua and El Salvador, and in the face of the new international scenarios that arose following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, did the United States in fact begin to distance itself from the powerful and corrupt Honduran military. Responsible for serious violations of human rights in the fight against ‘internal subversion’, Washington’s faithful allies against the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua and against the left-wing guerrillas of El Salvador, the military of Honduras had seen their political weight grow dramatically thanks to the support and generous US funding. The changed attitude of Washington therefore allowed the Partido Liberal (PL, returned to power in 1994) to gather the impetus in this sense coming from civil society, and to introduce a series of measures aimed at bringing the military back under the control of political power.
As popular protests continued against the austerity policy imposed by his government in an attempt to address the critical external debt situation, conservative RL Callejas, del Partido Nacional (PN), witnessed a growing mobilization in the final years of his presidential term. of civil society against the armed forces. Taking advantage of the new course of bilateral relations with Washington (in 1993 US military aid to the Honduras, Who a decade earlier had reached a record $ 77, 5millions of dollars, had fallen to less than three million dollars), organizations for the defense of human rights, student and trade union movements made common front with associations of entrepreneurs and above all with the Catholic Church (already critical of the government for the unresolved agrarian question), calling for an end to the excessive influence still exercised by the military in political life and forcing a reluctant Callejas to create the post of commissioner for human rights and a commission for institutional reform. In November 1993, legislative and presidential elections were held, won by the PL, which won 71 seats (out of 128) in the National Assembly against 55of the PN; the liberal CR Reina, former president of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, was elected to the presidency of the Republic.
Established in January 1994, the new administration did not deviate from the previous one in its economic policy choices, while it took a series of initiatives aimed at combating corruption and crime linked to drug trafficking (thanks to the connivance of the army, Honduras Ninety had become one of the main clearing houses for Colombian cocaine bound for the United States). The Reina presidency was characterized above all by the attempt to limit the power of the armed forces: to this end, the restructuring of the secret services was initiated, entrusted to civilian personnel, the police were demilitarized, the expenses of the Ministry of Defense were drastically reduced, they were abolished. the compulsory conscription and the position of Commander-in-Chief of the army (the duties of the latter were entrusted,1998, to the Ministry of Defense). These measures, as well as the celebration of a series of trials against some officers responsible for human rights violations in the period 1979 – 90, were bitterly opposed by the leaders of the armed forces, suspected of having organized a series of bomb attacks during the 1995 and 1996, which raised concerns for internal security and stability. In terms of international relations, the Reina administration tried to put an end to the border disputes with El Salvador, which continued despite the ruling issued in September 1992 by the International Court of The Hague (see Honduras: History, App. V). In January 1998, a few days after the expiry of her mandate, Reina signed a treaty with the President of El Salvador in Tegucigalpa for the definitive demarcation of a stretch of border common to the two countries.
Despite popular dissatisfaction with the government’s economic policy (which resulted in a series of price increases and an increase in unemployment), the general consultations of November 1997 confirmed the PL in power (67 seats against 55 in the PN), whose candidate, CR Flores Focussé, was elected to the presidency of the Republic.
In office since January 1998, during the year the Flores administration had to face a series of emergencies linked to violent natural phenomena: after a series of fires, which developed in particular in May, the Honduras it was in fact devastated between the end of October and the beginning of November by Hurricane Mitch, which caused several thousand victims and enormous damage to the infrastructures and the main economic activities of the country. In January 1999 the president, continuing the policy of controlling the military, also assumed the post of head of the armed forces.