Honduran Election Results Still Need To Be
Scrutinized, State Department Dashes Hopes that a
Transformative Latin America Policy Has Been Born
A growing number of nations in the international community have decided to recognize the recent Honduran elections administered by the country’s unlawful de facto government, citing high rates of voter participation as evidence that a “free and fair” election had taken place on November 29. Believing a basis now exists for national reconciliation, the United States, Panama, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, and El Salvador have all accepted the electoral results. However, their decisions have been based on inaccurate and deceptive electoral figures released on the day of the election by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) of Honduras.
Initially, the TSE claimed a voter participation rate of over 60%. However, a U.S.-backed Honduran civil society coalition, Hagamos Democracia (Making Democracy, HD) submitted a report to the TSE on election night, estimating that the voter turnout was, in fact, only 48.7% of the population. Although the TSE has since revised its official estimates down to 49%, the damage had already been done. The original release of the higher turnout figure came at a critical time and was widely publicized by some of the international media and a number of foreign governments as thoroughly reliable.