Caritas Honduras joined other non-governmental organizations and the Metropolitan University of Honduras as part of the “Hagamos Democracia” (“We make Democracy”) initiative during recent Presidential elections.
Honduras had been thrown into disarray following the ousting of President Manuel Zelaya in June. The country held new presidential elections last weekend, in which Porfirio Lobo from the centre-right opposition National Party claimed victory.
“We make Democracy” partnership fielded 1170 national observers in 18 departments in over 90 percent of the municipalities of Honduras. The role of the observers was to monitor whether voting was free and fair.
The observers were allowed access to polling booths on almost all occasions, and where they were not the Electoral Supreme Court was informed.
The observers noted that apart from two incidents which did not impact on voting, the polling went off without difficulties, with most of the booths free of partisan influence although 23 percent had the presence of armed forces which is counter to electoral law.
Less than 1 percent of people who wanted to vote were unable to because of lost identification cards or not appearing on the electoral register, or a closure of the booths.
The “We Make Democracy” alliance said that the poll shows that Hondurans still value the democratic process and are committed to solving differences through political and peaceful means.
Caritas Honduras said the poll is the first step in the process of national reconciliation after a difficult period for the country.