Elections In Honduras

Sunday is Election Day in Honduras. About 4.6 million Hondurans have been registered for the elections to choose the country’s president, three vice presidents, 128 deputies to the National Congress, 20 members of the Central American parliament and 298 mayors among more than 13,000 candidates. Churches and businesses are shut down and alcohol cannot be sold in an effort to help Hondurans focus on the elections. Polling stations will open 7:00 a.m. and first results will be ready two hours after polls close at 4:00 p.m. The electoral authorities have established 5,248 voting centers across the country. Two soldiers will guard each center.

In the days leading up to the election several bombs have been detonated and automatic gunfire has frequently been heard. No deaths have been reported. The police have raided several buildings that were making bombs and several vehicles transporting automatic weapons have been discovered. More than 30,000 police and soldiers have been deployed to maintain order. The borders between Honduras and El Salvador and Nicaragua have been closed.

Neither the old President (Zelaya) nor the new President (Micheletti) are on the ballot and many view the ushering in of a new leader as an end to the conflict back on June 28th. Zelaya, who has been hold up in the Brazilian embassy for over two months, has called on his supporters to boycott the election. Micheletti has stepped down as President for a few days in order to, if only symbolically, remove controversy from the elections.

Both Brazilian and Argentine have recently said they will not recognize the results of these elections. But Canada, the United States, Panama, Israel, Costa Rica, Colombia and Peru have said they will recognize the outcome of the elections as long as they prove to be transparent.