Honduras held its most recent general election on 26 November 2017, under controversy regarding whether or not the sitting president Juan Orlando Hernández would be allowed to pursue re-election - a continuing constitutional crisis that had led to a coup d'état in 2009. The elections were monitored by international observers, including the European Union who sent 100 observers to polls around the country.

The report that followed, while commending the government for its efforts to increase transparency and level the playing field for campaign financing, voiced concern over various electoral issues: The central concern was especially seen the imbalance of campaign resources between the the leading Partido Nacional and the opposition parties.

The elections were widely accused of being rigged and organised under a climate of intimidation. A crisis related to the counting of votes followed immediately after the elections on Sunday and led to widespread protests and street violence that killed at least 31. Observers in many places had to be evacuated by helicopters after days of delays in counting of the votes. Ultimately President Hernández was declared winner with 42.95% f the votes, placing Salvador Nasralla second with 41.42%.

Many observers noted the significant success of Nasralla, considering his party's fewer resources and influence. The local population also felt much safer than they did in 2009, and despite the violence, the elections processed surprisingly smoothly (in relative terms). While Honduras still has far to go from being a full democracy, its achievements only within the past couple of years shouldn't be discounted.

The full EU Election Observation Mission report can be found here.


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