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News > Latin America

OAS, Poll Company Spat Over Honduras Election Report

  • Soldiers guard the entrance of Honduras Central Bank as supporters of opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla march to protest against the results of Honduras' general elections in Tegucigalpa

    Soldiers guard the entrance of Honduras Central Bank as supporters of opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla march to protest against the results of Honduras' general elections in Tegucigalpa | Photo: Reuters

Published 9 January 2018

The owner of the computer system company used in the Honduran election said the OAS report contained "false facts.”

The Organization of American State, OAS, final report of the Honduran electoral process is “false,” according to Theodore Dale Vukanovich, whose computer company counted the controversial Honduran presidential ballots cast Nov. 26.

NGOs, Governments Call For Dialogue To End Honduran Election Crisis

Teddy Vukanovich, owner of the Honduran computer system company with his same name, Dale Vukanovich, sent a letter to Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS saying that there are "false facts” throughout the final OAS report.

"The OAS report of the electoral process is based on falsities and conjecture, and its methods don’t correspond to the most basic standards of international (electoral auditing) principles and norms."

Dale added in his letter to Almagro, "the report doesn’t meet the standards, rules and codes...necessary for this kind of auditory work.” The owner of Dale Vukanovich added that the OAS report has “negatively affected my work, credibility and professional prestige” and “puts in doubt” OAS’s reputation and credibility.

Dale Vukanovich, is a computer systems company that works routinely with the Inter American Development Bank, World Bank, United Nations, as well as with 20 countries throughout Latin America and Europe. Its systems were used by the Honduran Supreme Electoral Tribunal, or TSE, the government agency that oversee elections in the country.

The former Opposition Alliance presidential candidate, Salvador Nasralla, has long contended that the TSE manipulated ballot counts using Vukanovich’s machines and claims electoral fraud was committed by the TSE throughout the electoral process.

Nasralla says the TSE and its director, David Matamoros stole the election from him, and refuses to recognize the TSE Dec.17 announcement that gave the presidency to incumbent Juan Orlando Hernandez with 42.95 percent of the vote, barely over Nasralla’s 41.24 vote count.

European Union electoral observers have also said the TSE, “acts on party influence ... putting at risk the TSE's impartiality and neutrality of the (state) institution” designed to oversee the Honduran electoral process.

Vukanovich has publicly defended the work of his company several times since polls closed.

In mid-December the business owner told the press “we emphatically affirm the database was not changed at any time. If the OAS (auditors) had done their job they would have determined that there were no events that affected the electoral process.”

Vukanovich and Almagro met on Dec. 26 in Washington where the former pointed out what he claimed were “irregularities” in the OAS preliminary report. According to El Heraldo, Almagro said he would make changes to the report “if necessary” before the regional organization released its final report two days later.

Vukanovich claims the final report didn’t reflect his comments or criticisms of the OAS auditing work, which he found “strange.”

OAS Observers Oppose New Honduras Election Amid Fraud Claims

On Tuesday, Hernandez said the TSE results “are firm and demonstrate democracy” and are valid with the “observations of the E.U. and OAS."

The president re-elect is moving ahead with the mediated “dialogue” that he and Nasralla have called for to resolve the Honduran political crisis since the Nov. 26 elections. Since Dec. 1 at least 30 Nasralla supporters have been killed by Honduran police forces during protests calling for the removal of Hernandez.

 “By the end of the week we’ll have a group of national facilitators” to act as mediators to the two party talks, and “possibly international facilitators,” says Hernandez.

The former Costa Rican president, Laura Chinchilla, ex-president of Guatemala, Marco Vinicio Cerezo, Uruguayan former president, Jose Mujica, and Joe Biden, U.S. former vice president are all names being floated as international mediators.  

Hernandez also says that once the top-level talks are in place he’s setting up roundtable discussions with national civil society organizations, churches, unions, farmers, academics, and the transportation sector, among others.

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