Thousands take to the streets in Honduras to protest election result

TEGUCIGALPA,  (Reuters) – Honduras’ defeated leftist presidential candidate, the wife of ousted former leader Manuel Zelaya, led thousands of supporters onto the streets of Tegucigalpa yesterday to protest an election result she has called fraudulent.

The demonstration by a crowd estimated at several thousand people passed off peacefully, which analysts said offered some hope for political stability. The Central American country is plagued by violence and has the world’s highest murder rate.

The ruling National Party’s Juan Hernandez, who is head of Congress, won last week’s election with 36.8 percent of votes, according to the country’s election tribunal. He has vowed to tame drug violence.

Xiomara Castro ran as the candidate of the Liberty and Refoundation Party (LIBRE) – a coalition of leftist politicians, unions and indigenous groups founded by her husband. She came second with 28.79 percent of the vote.