The Honduras government enforced a curfew on Saturday, and gave its army and police more powers to contain public unrest following violent protests over a disputed presidential election in November, Reuters reported.
“Constitutional guarantees” have been suspended and a curfew has been imposed, government official Ebal Diaz said, BBC reported. Opposition leaders criticised the government’s move to enact the nationwide 10-day curfew as a move to stifle protests against the election vote count.
The vote count controversy
After the election on November 26, President Juan Orlando Hernandez managed to secure a narrow lead over his rival, TV-host Salvador Nasralla. However, Opposition leaders accused the government of manipulating the election results.
Nasralla’s early lead on counting day was later changed in favor of President Hernandez. The electoral tribunal had said it would hand-count the remaining ballot boxes that had irregularities, which accounted for nearly 6% of the total vote. Nasralla’s center-left alliance, however, refused to recognise the tribunal’s authority unless it recounted votes from three regions where there were reports of violations.
At least one protestor has died since the election and more than 20 people were injured in the violence. Police have arrested over 100 protestors so far.
Hernandez claimed that citizens’ groups had requested the government to impose the curfew. “I want to clarify that various sectors requested it...in order to guarantee the safety of the people,” Reuters quoted him as saying.