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Left-wing candidate tops the polls ahead of presidential election in Honduras

If elected, Xiomara Castro will be the first female president of the Central American country

HONDURAN voters could elect a socialist president at the weekend, with left-wing candidate Xiomara Castro leading in the polls.

The latest survey by TResearch put the Libre party candidate ahead on 43 per cent, with closest rival Nasry Juan Asfura Zablah trailing her on 28 per cent. 

Victory for Ms Castro would bring an end to the National Party and Liberal Party’s domination of Honduran politics, which has lasted for more than a century.

Ms Castro would also be the first female president of the Central American country.

“I believe firmly that the democratic socialism I propose is the solution to pull Honduras out of the abyss we have been buried in by neoliberalism, a narco-dictator and corruption,” she said in a campaign speech.

Ms Castro is married to former president Manual Zelaya, who was ousted by a US-backed military coup in 2009.

Honduras has functioned as a US client state ever since, with the privatisation of health and education triggering mass anti-government protests in 2019.

Calls for the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez were coupled with national strikes, but the armed forces brutally crushed the dissent.

Ms Castro has campaigned on a progressive platform, including pledges to decriminalise abortion and repeal legislation that she says fuels corruption and drug trafficking.

Her candidacy has rattled political opponents such as the National Party, which has claimed: “A vote for Xiomara is a vote for communism, socialism, chaos, hunger, violence, repression, abortion, poverty.” 

Victory for the leftwinger would deal a further blow to US attempts to gain regional hegemony, following recent elections in Venezuela and Nicaragua. 

Caracas-based media organisation Telesur saw its correspondent banned from entering Honduras earlier this week to cover the elections amid fears that the ruling party will try to manipulate the vote.

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