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February 20, 2018

Thousands march in Honduras to protest president's reelection

Thousands march in Honduras to protest president's reelection
'Tens of thousands of supporters of presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla took to the streets of Honduras's second-largest city, demanding that he be recognized as the winner of a bitterly-disputed presidential vote' - By: AFP ORLANDO SIERRA

Tens of thousands of people marched Saturday against the reelection of conservative President Juan Orlando Hernandez, demanding that his rival be recognized as the real winner of the November presidential race.

Supporters of the Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship rallied and marched in the streets of San Pedro Sula, the country's second-largest city, calling for Salvador Nasralla to be named the winner and sworn in this month.

"The people are not going to put up with this imposition, so that the dictator can stay on," Nasralla, a former TV host, said of Hernandez outside the city's colonial-era cathedral.

Marchers walked about two kilometers (1.25 miles) waving banners bearing slogans including "Electoral Fraud Shall Not Stand," "No more political killings," and "Freedom for Political Prisoners," demanding that Hernandez, 49, step aside.

Marchers also called for a national strike, including a boycott of Hernandez's inauguration and road blocks around the impoverished Central American nation.

Electoral officials on Friday rejected the opposition's appeal demanding the annulment of Hernandez's reelection, which was lodged over voter fraud allegations in the bitterly-disputed poll.

The country's Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), in a statement, cited a lack of evidence and dubbed the opposition's actions "groundless."

Hernandez stood for re-election against Nasralla despite a constitutional ban on presidents serving more than one term.

According to election officials, the final results showed the conservative Hernandez winning with 42.95 percent of the vote, over Nasralla's 41.42 percent.

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