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After a historic voter turnout of 62%, and despite attempts by the right-wing National Party (PAN) to claim an early victory, democratic socialist candidate Xiomara Castro de Zelaya is leading by a nearly 20% margin in the country's presidential elections.
Leading ovr Nasry Asfura, current mayor of the capital city Tegucigulpa and PAN candidate, as well as Yani Rosenthal, candidate for the Liberal Party, Castro is on track to become the first woman president of the Central American nation, and the first leftist leader of the country since her husband Manuel 'Mel' Zelaya was ousted in a U.S.-backed coup in 2009.
With 16.01% of the votes vounted, representing nearly 3 million total votes, the Libre Party victor has secured 53.44% of the vote, whereas Asfura obtained 34.01% and Rosenthal 9.23%, whereas other candidates picked up the remaining 4%.
Still to be announced by Honduras' National Electoral Council (CNE) is the breakdown of the vote for the 20 representatives to the Central American Parliament, 128 representatives to the National Congress, and the local leaders of 298 municipal corporations, which will be announced in the coming hours.
Earlier on Sunday, PAN leaders announced they were leading the polls nationwide, despite numerous exit polls sugesting otherwise, and national electoral law prohibiting the premature claiming of victory before the competent authorities release their preliminary results at least three hours before polls close, which the CNE did just after 8:00 pm local time.
"WE WON! The Opposition Alliance led by @XiomaraCastroZ, @SalvaPresidente, @Doris_Gutierrez, Honduras Humana, and Liberals in opposition, convene a Press Conference at 8:00 PM at the headquarters of the @PartidoLibre."
Castro, whose husband Zelaya was ousted in a coup twelve years ago for shifting to the Left, joining the ALBA-TCP regional integration mechanism, and reigning in control over multinationals, is a self-proclaimed Honduran-style democratic socialist, who hopes to restore diplomatic relations with China, legalize abortion and same-sex marriage, and defend the interests of the poor and working class.
Fears of the military and business elite repeating a similar scenario to the one from 2017 in which electoral fraud and manipulation stole the presidency from liberal candidate Salvador Nasaralla (who has backed Castro) and gave it to the right-wing narco-dictator Juan Orlando Hernandez have, until now, not materialized, with Honduras proving ready to fight for the integrity of their democratic process in the streets and with their life, if necessary, as recent history has shown.