HONDURAN President Juan Orlando Hernandez said on Tuesday night that he was is “open” to a full recount as opposition protests against the “stolen” election continued.
National Party leader Mr Hernandez said: “We’re open to it being checked, revised, one, two, three or however many times. We’ve got no problem.”
He insisted, however, that any recount must be under the auspices of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, which Opposition Alliance Against Dictatorship candidate Salvador Nasralla accuses of ballot-rigging.
Mr Nasralla’s initial lead of 45 to 40 per cent, with almost 60 per cent of votes counted, the day after the November 26 election was turned into a 1.6 per cent lead for Mr Hernandez following a week-long recount of more than 1,000 ballot boxes.
Huge crowds of Mr Nasralla’s supporters blocked roads in and out of the capital Tegucigalpa on Tuesday in protest at the apparent repeat of the 2009 coup against his ally president Manuel Zelaya. Mr Nasralla demanded a complete recount of all 18,103 ballot boxes in the election and rejected a proposal for a second-round run-off vote.
Mr Hernandez claimed a “go-slow” strike by police who refused to suppress the demonstrations had ended after he promised them a pay rise and a curfew had been reimposed.
But the Cobras and Tigers special forces, used to quell protests against the 2009 coup, told UNE TV they had returned to their barracks in a continuation of the action.
They made clear their strike was not about pay but in support of the struggle for democracy and change in the country.