UPDATE Nov. 28: Juan Hernández won the the presidential election, according to an official statement by Honduras’ election authority on Wednesday. With 85.6 percent of votes counted, Hernández held a 36.4 percent margin to rival Xiomara Castro’s 28.9 percent. Hernández had a 200,000 lead in votes. See full results below.
Costa Rica’s President Laura Chinchilla congratulated conservative candidate Juan Hernández as the next president of Honduras, amid an election teeming with controversy.
“We congratulate the president-elect of the Republic of Honduras Juan Hernández for his recent victory in these elections, and we extend our best hopes to him in the challenges and fights that we are sure will make Honduras a safer, more prosperous and more democratic country,” Chinchilla said on Monday.
Chinchilla made her announcement as vote tallies showed a five percentage point lead for Hernández over his chief rival, leftist candidate Xiomara Castro. Castro, wife of deposed ex-president Manuel Zelaya, said Tuesday that massive fraud surrounded the election and that she would announce her plans within the next two days.
The Supreme Electoral Tribunal has not declared an official winner, but last said Hernández lead with 34 to 29 percent, with 68 percent of polling stations tallied. That small margin represented a lead of more than 100,000 votes over Castro, with only about 1 million votes remaining to be counted, according to the TSE.
Nevertheless, leaders from the region have recognized the results and praised Hernández’s win and multiple media outlets in the country have proclaimed Hernández the winner. Chinchilla joined other Latin American leaders such as the presidents of Nicaragua, Panamá and Colombia in recognizing Hernández.
Earlier in her statement, Chinchilla congratulated the Honduran people for their high voter turnout.
“Costa Rica brings her sincerest congratulations to the people of the sister republic of Honduras, for the demonstration of patriotism, participation and democratic fervor demonstrated in recently concluded electoral process, and that your voter turnout was around 75 percent,” Chinchilla said.
During the 2010 Costa Rican presidential elections, voter turnout fell just below 70 percent. Costa Rica will hold its 2014 presidential elections on Feb. 2.
View the latest results of the election below. The graphic will be updated as results roll in. Story continues below.
Hernández from the governing National Party (PN) declared himself the winner of the Honduran elections on Sunday night after the TSE showed him with a greater than five point margin, against 28.67 percent for Castro, wife of deposed president Manuel Zelaya, with 54 percent of the votes counted. However, Zelaya announced on Monday that he did not recognize the results divulged by TSE because he considered them fraudulent. Castro also declared herself the winner on Monday, citing exit poll data, according to Honduras’ La Prensa newspaper.
Costa Rica’s Foreign Ministry said it was confident that relations between the two countries “will continue deepening and cementing themselves as they have until now.”