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Honduras Aiming for “Clean Politics” in November Elections

LADB Article ID: 80366
Category/Department: Honduras
Date: 2017-08-03
By: George Rodríguez

This year’s general elections in Honduras will be the 10th after 1981, when Honduras formally returned to democracy after two decades of military regimes; it will be the second since the 2009 coup; and it will be the first that allows an incumbent president to seek re-election. The vote will also be the first under recently enacted legislation designed to create a climate of “clean politics” in a country where political activity has been historically the exact opposite of that. In a country where corruption is deeply rooted––in politics and government, in the police, in the private sector––the election process has historically been another link in the lengthy chain of illegal activities. Money and other contributions of unknown or dubious origins often enter campaigns. Such was the case in current President Juan Orlando Hernández’s presidential campaign four years ago, which according to local media reports, received around 2 billion lempiras (US$85 million) of the close to 7 billion lempiras (just under US$300 million) pillaged from the country’s social security agency, the Instituto Hondureño de Seguridad Social (IHSS) Hernández is now seeking re-election in the vote scheduled for Nov. 26. Curiously enough, a disagreement over presidential re-election was the reason the 2009 coup leaders offered when they toppled Manuel “Mel” Zelaya.

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