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Honduras Protest Sunday

Honduras awaits long-delayed election results after a week of violence and protests

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More than a week after contested presidential elections took place in Honduras, a winner has yet to emerge, and a recount of ballots showing "irregularities" is still underway.

On Monday the electoral commission, Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE), said the recount of thousands of votes is still unfinished, and it will take time before a final decision is announced.

Peaceful demonstrations took place on Sunday in the capital of Tegucigalpa, with protesters demanding a quick – and more importantly, transparent – conclusion to the Nov. 26 presidential election that still had no clear winner.

Honduras Protest Sunday
Courtesy: Manuel Rapalo

While many demanded incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez step down, most Hondurans simply wanted a guarantee of an election free of fraud, regardless of the results.

Honduras Elections
Supporters of Libre Alliance presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla throw rocks at riot police near the National Institute of Professional Training, where election ballots are stored, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. Protests were growing in Honduras Thursday as incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez emerged with a growing lead for re-election following a reported computer glitch that shut down vote counting for several hours. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

The scene was much different only days earlier, when demonstrations gave way to deadly riots and looting.

APTOPIX Honduras Elections
A supporter of Libre Alliance presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla is assisted by fellow protesters after getting injured during clashes with security forces guarding the institute where election ballots are stored in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. Protests were intense last week as incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez emerged with a growing lead for re-election following a reported computer glitch that shut down vote counting for several hours. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

In the capital of Tegucigalpa, at least three people were killed. One of those was 19-year-old opposition supporter Kimberly Dayana Fonseca, who witnesses say was shot by police.

APTOPIX Honduras Elections
Family and friends gather around the coffin containing the remains of Kimberly Dayana Fonseca, 19, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017. As the electoral count entered its sixth day Saturday, Fonseca was shot to death at a protest supporting opposition presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla by gunmen in two vehicles who witnesses say were police. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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The unrest prompted the Honduran government to suspend constitutional rights, and a military-enforced curfew remains in place from 6 pm to 6 am.

Juan Orlando Hernandez
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez speaks to supporters at a campaign headquarters in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, early Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. Hondurans waited anxiously with no results released long after polls closed for Sunday's presidential election, while both the president and his main challenger Salvador Nasralla claimed victory after what appeared to be a heavy turnout by voters. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

Both sitting president Hernandez and his challenger, former television personality Salvador Nasralla, had claimed victory immediately following the vote. While Nasralla seemed poised to win after initial vote counts, Hernandez gained a narrow lead later in the week, prompting allegations of foul play.

Honduras' electoral commission, controlled by President Hernandez's National Party, cited a computer failure as the culprit behind the delay in the vote count.

Honduras Elections
Opposition Alliance presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla greets supporters in front of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Nasralla called for the vote to be held again, monitored by an international electoral tribunal. The opposition candidate has also called on his supporters to honor the curfew.

The EU Electoral Observation Mission in Honduras expressed its determination to see that the TSE facilitate a fair recount of the votes.

"We want to see the process continue under conditions of transparency. The trust of the people must be regained. The elections commission has the opportunity to regain the trust of the people, we hope they do so."
EU Electoral Observation Mission in Honduras

It remains to be seen whether the return to peace will continue with the implementation of the curfew, and how soon the electoral commission will release the results of the recount.

Honduran Elections Protests
A supporter of Libre Alliance presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla returns a canister of tear gas launched by riot police near the National Institute of Professional Training, where election ballots are stored, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. Protests were growing in Honduras Thursday as incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez emerged with a growing lead for re-election following a reported computer glitch that shut down vote counting for several hours. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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But many Hondurans worry that a continued delay in an announcement – or the possibility of a non-transparent win for the incumbent president – will incite more violence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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