Honduras begins vote recount in unresolved election

Thousands of Salvador Nasralla's supporters are shown holding a demonstration in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on December 3, 2017.

Story highlights

  • The electoral commission will recount votes under the scrutiny of both parties
  • A 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew is mandatory, with some exceptions

Tegucigalpa (CNN)Honduras' electoral commission announced a recount of some votes cast in last week's unresolved election, which prompted days of unrest that has claimed lives, and forced the government to impose a nightly curfew in an attempt to control protests.

On Sunday, the electoral commission began to review ballots that showed irregularities. The recount will be conducted using a special procedure that puts the process under the scrutiny of both political parties, international observers and the media.
    "We feel that the Honduran people, as we said yesterday, deserve a result, and that result cannot be stopped or be in the hands of any presidential candidate or any party," David Matamoros, president of the electoral commission, Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE), said in a press conference Sunday.
      A week after the November 26 election, Honduras still doesn't know who the president will be. Opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla, a prominent TV star, has accused incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez of manipulating the election results. Hernandez has not responded to the allegations.
      Ballots from 1,000 voting precincts showed irregularities after the electoral commission's voting system shut down on Wednesday while the count was ongoing. Narsalla alleged the shutdown was part of an attempt by the government to manipulate the vote. On Sunday, he told CNN he would only accept the results if 5,000 precincts were reviewed.
      The electoral commission had planned to conduct a recount on Saturday morning, but the process was delayed after the opposition party failed to show, Matamoros said. Both parties were supposed to be involved in the process.

        Thousands protest on Sunday

        On Sunday, thousands of Nasralla's supporters took to the street in Tegucigalpa as part of a largely peaceful demonstration. Many of them, demanding a recount, told CNN that they marched because they felt cheated, not because of their ideology.
        "It's a symbolic act, to show that we are marching for our children's future that is being stolen by corrupt politicians," said Raul Lopez, who was marching with his wife and two young daughters.
        Young people were participating to show their generation has a new mentality, said 24-year-old Cara Mendoza, who added they wanted change for their country.
        Nasralla joined the three-hour march, shaking hands and kissing babies.
        At least 11 people have died and 15 others have been injured during the post-election protests, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Honduras. It was not immediately clear where the deaths occurred.
        Without confirming figures, the spokesman of the Armed Forces, Jorge Cerrato, and the spokesman of the National Police, Jair Meza, told CNN that investigations are underway to determine who is responsible for the deaths

        Nightly curfew put in place

        After protests broke out, the government on Friday imposed a nightly curfew in an effort to quell the disorder. The 10-day curfew is in effect from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. each day. Only cargo transport workers, emergency health workers, government workers and people involved with the election and electoral parties are exempt from it.
        "The executive decree orders the arrest of any person found outside the circulation hours established by the authorities or who is suspected of causing damage to persons or property," Jorge Ramón Hernández, coordinating minister of the government, said on national TV.
        He ordered all state and local authorities to be at the disposal of the National Police and armed forces.
        A car burns after being set on fire by supporters of Honduran presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla during post-election protests.
        Army and National Police have also been ordered to clear demonstrators or people committing illegal activities from public areas, highways, bridges and private or public buildings.
        The Honduran government lifted the curfew in the Caribbean area of Islas de la Bahía, the city of Trujillo and at the city and ancient Mayan ruins of Copán, which is considered one of the most visited attractions in the country.

        Why are Hondurans protesting?

        Protests erupted in the Central American country Thursday after widespread allegations of voter fraud in the presidential election.
        Almost a week after the election, the country still has no officially declared winner, with both Nasralla and Hernandez having claimed victory.
        With close to 95% of the ballots counted, the gap between the two candidates is less than 2% of the votes, with Hernandez leading the polls.
        Nasralla backers protested throughout the country, most prominently in Tegucigalpa. They have blocked roads, burned tires, and the National Police reported widespread looting. Protesters have also clashed with security forces.