Honduran officials declare Juan Orlando Hernandez the winner of the presidential election
The president-elect says he has reached out to start dialogue with other candidates
Xiomara Castro has also declared victory and plans to speak about the results Friday
Her supporters have called for protests this weekend
It’s official: According to the Honduran elections authority, Juan Orlando Hernandez won the Central American country’s presidential vote.
With 80% of votes counted, officials said, Hernandez had secured more than 35% of the vote, placing him 6 percentage points ahead of his closest competitor.
“These figures that we are releasing today clearly indicate that the winner of the general elections is Juan Orlando Hernandez, candidate from the (ruling) National Party of Honduras,” said David Matamoros Batson, president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.
But Wednesday’s announcement from the tribunal and reports from elections observers calling the elections transparent didn’t stop calls for protests from critics who said electoral fraud had tainted the results from Sunday’s vote.
Xiomara Castro, a leftist candidate who officials said came in second place with more than 29% of votes, said in a Twitter post that she would speak about the election results on Friday.
Castro, the wife of former President Manuel Zelaya, has also declared victory, and her supporters have said they plan to hold a protest on Saturday.
“We are going to defend the popular will expressed at the polls,” Castro wrote.
In an interview with CNN en Español, Hernandez said he has publicly invited Castro and the other candidates to talk about moving forward in a way that avoids conflict.
“There has to be order in the country,” Hernandez said. “There has to be respect and tolerance in the country, those are the rules.”
CNN’s Mariano Castillo and Fernando del Rincon contributed to this report.