Thursday, April 15

Elections: The sad electoral panorama of Honduras | International


Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández votes during the primary elections in Lempira, Honduras, March 14, 2021.
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández votes during the primary elections in Lempira, Honduras, March 14, 2021.EFE

Honduras lived through a primary election on Sunday to choose the candidate of the country’s main parties, but in whose vote all citizens were called, so they are considered a prelude to the presidential elections to be held in November. In the absence of official results, the only known data have to do with the exit polls that indicate that Nasry Asfura of the National Party, Yani Rosenthal of the Liberal Party and Xiomara Castro of the Free party are in the lead, according to Marketing polls. Total disseminated by United Stations Y Televicentro.

On the right wing of the National Party, almost 24 hours after the closing of the polling stations, the toughest struggle is between the mayor of Tegucigalpa, Asfrura, and the president of the Assembly, Mauricio Oliva, who are fighting vote by vote for the party in the power of Juan Orlando Hernández.

The likely winner, 62-year-old Asfura, known colloquially as “Papi a la Orden”, has twice been mayor of the country’s capital where he has carried out an intense public works agenda. He is one of the most highly valued characters in a party touched by corruption since the presidencies of Porfirio Lobo and now Hernández. Public opinion values ​​his tireless work, always attached to several telephones, from which he keeps in constant contact with his team. His critics, however, acknowledge that he has done many infrastructure works, but is in debt to the social part. His government program proposes “to advance those who really push Honduras: entrepreneurs, micro, small, medium enterprises, workers from all sectors, employees and employers.”

In front of him, in the fight for the leadership of the National Party, is Mauricio Oliva. The two-time president of Congress is considered the man closest to President Hernández and the candidate who could best protect him when he leaves power and the accusations on the table about ties to the Los Cachiros cartel that were heard last week in court return from New York. Surgeon by profession, thanks to his closeness to Hernández, he was president of the Assembly for two periods. Although he has distanced himself from the president, many analysts consider that it is a political strategy to get away from the president, who is highly discredited inside and outside Honduras. The coordinator of his campaign is Vice President Ricardo Álvarez, also named in the trial that takes place in New York. Among its campaign proposals, Oliva will give all students a million smartphones “so that no one is left without distance classes due to the pandemic.”

In the National Party, with many possibilities of maintaining power for four more years according to the polls, his hallmarks have always been intense blue and the star on his flag. But in the change of image that it promotes, the color has faded to a sky blue, in an attempt to resemble the New Ideas party of the President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele, perceived as a successful political hurricane to which everyone wants to be linked.

On the opposite bank, on the left of the Liberal Party, three candidates are competing for the candidacy that Yani Rosenthal will win by beating Luis Zelaya and Darío Banegas, according to Marketing Total.

Yani Rosenthal, son of the well-known banker Jaime Rosenthal, 55, and a member of one of the most powerful and influential families in Honduras, was sentenced for money laundering to 29 months in jail by a New York court. With that conviction, he lost a large part of his assets, which he blames on President Hernández and what would move his interest in achieving the presidency. Among his proposals is that of “designing credits for agro-export products, promoting Honduras as the new manufacturing operations center of the Americas.” In addition, allocate an extra 3.2% of GDP to schools and hospitals, which it will achieve by eliminating waste and superfluous expenses.

For his part, Luis Zelaya, a former university rector who easily won the 2017 primaries, proposes the reactivation of agriculture, a reform of development banking and a fund for the poorest communities in the country. Darío Banegas, a well-known cartoonist seen as fresh air and the scourge of corruption, slips into the list. Among his proposals are to promote “a fierce and unwavering fight against corruption by promoting honesty as a practice in public administration.”

The option that identifies more with the left, the heirs of the movement that flirted with Chavismo and led by Manuel Zelaya until the 2009 coup, is grouped in the Libertad y Refundación (Free) party in which his wife Xiomara Castro they are more likely than anyone to be the presidential candidate. Its main proposal is the transformation of the country through a new Constitution

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