[News] Honduran Police and Military Attack Opposition Protesters - TSE accused of manipulating the presidential vote count

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Nov 30 10:53:10 EST 2017


  Honduran Police and Military Attack Opposition Protesters

30 November 2017

Honduran national police and military forces threw tear gas at and 
chased out opposition supporters from the area in front of the Supreme 
Electoral Tribunal in Tegucigalpa early this morning, according to 
teleSUR correspondent Gilda Silvestrucci.

    The Gap Between Nasralla and Hernández in Honduras Narrows

Several people had to be taken to the hospital for treatment and tear 
gas fumes spread into the TSE offices forcing the staff to evacuate for 
a short time.

Supporters of Opposition Alliance presidential candidate Salvador 
Nasralla remain on the rainy capital streets this morning, blocking off 
avenues, saying they will continue to protest along the “main streets” 
of Tegucigalpa, reported La Prensa.

Nasralla maintains the TSE is manipulating the presidential vote count, 
now in its fifth day, to favor the candidate’s main opponent, incumbent 
President Juan Orlando Hernandez of the right-wing National Party.

At a press conference late last night Nasralla said, "We do not trust 
[TSE] results because they are cheating [and] manipulating the system." 
He claimed the TSE is “stealing” his “victory.”

Nasralla told the crowd he is retracting his signature from an 
Organization of American States document he signed just hours before 
promising to recognize the TSE election results. "The document I signed 
today with the OAS has no validity," he said.

    Honduras' Nasralla: 'Electoral Body Rigging Vote Count'

The opposition candidate said he will only recognize the “18,103 
physical ballots made at voting booths [that] confirm that Salvador 
Nasralla is the constitutional president of the republic for the period 
of 2018 to 2022, according to the decision of the majority of the 
Honduran people.”

He noted at the conference that the TSE computer system unexpectedly 
shut down on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. and workers “began to count unsigned 
ballots,” when only signed ballots are considered legitimate. The TSE 
website stopped posting election results on its website for 36 hours on 
Monday and resumed again on Tuesday, pressured by the European Union 
Parliament Electoral Observation Mission in Honduras.

“I will not accept the results of ballots from the [TSE] that are being 
put in without signatures and are changing the popular vote … They take 
us for idiots and want to steal our victory," Nasralla added.

Also on hand at the press conference was former President Manuel Zelaya, 
who was ousted in a military coup in 2009. "This is the first time [in 
presidential electoral history] that the TSE hasn’t produced vote 
results in the time stipulated for the electoral process," Zelaya said.

Nasralla has called out several other electoral irregularities since 
polls closed Sunday evening, including that some polling stations closed 
at 4:00 p.m., an hour earlier than mandated. He said the TSE computer 
system was tampered with, eliminating certain electoral transparency and 
security mechanisms.

The opposition candidate also noted that the TSE is not counting ballots 
from regions sympathetic to him and his party, instead, counting those 
from departments aligned to Hernandez, cutting Nasralla’s once 5 percent 
lead to now favor Hernandez by about 1 percent in the polls.

According to the TSE website at 8:50 a.m. local time, with 88.57 percent 
of the votes counted, Nasralla was behind with 41.7 percent to 
Hernandez' 42.48 percent.

In a press conference Tuesday, Marisa Matias, mission leader of the 
European Union Parliament Electoral Observation Mission in Honduras, 
agreed that the TSE needed to count ballots faster and that the TSE and 
National Party need to be “depoliticized.”

The TSE President David Matamoros told the press, "The process is still 
moving forward. We are working hard so we can inform the Honduran 
people. And, obviously, the ballots that are missing are the ballots 
that, just like all ballots, represent the will of the people expressed 
on election day."

Nasralla finished the press conference saying, “David Matamoros is doing 
everything possible to take away our victory.”

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