Protesters block roads in Honduras as electoral crisis rumbles on

Protesters block roads in Honduras as electoral crisis rumbles on
Police fire tear gas towards opposition supporters during a protest over a disputed presidential election in Tegucigalpa, Honduras December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera
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TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) – Honduran security forces fired tear gas on Friday at opposition protesters who had blocked major roads, and demanded a full recount of last month’s contentious election that pitched the Central American nation into crisis.

Supporters of the center-left Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship, led by TV star Salvador Nasralla, set fire to tires across the country, blocking major thoroughfares in the capital, Tegucigalpa, and the second city of San Pedro Sula.

Police and soldiers responded with tear gas to rock-throwing protesters who set fire to a vehicle for carrying soldiers in Tegucigalpa. In San Pedro Sula, security forces sought to move protesters who blocked a road leading to the key Puerto Cortes port, which exports manufacturing and agricultural goods.

Honduras has been roiled by political instability in the wake of the Nov. 26 vote, which remains unresolved. Nasralla trails conservative President Juan Orlando Hernandez by 1.6 percentage points according to the official count, which has been questioned by the two main opposition parties and a wide swathe of the diplomatic corps.

Honduras’ electoral tribunal said on Sunday that a partial recount of votes showed broadly the same result as previously, maintaining Hernandez’s lead. It has until Dec. 26 to declare a winner.

Last week, Honduras’ two main opposition parties presented formal requests to annul the results of the election.

(Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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