Honduras election results in decisive win for democracy

In Sunday’s presidential election, the voters of Honduras chose Partido Nacional candidate Pepe Lobo, who won 58%, compared to 33% for Partido Liberal candidate Elvin Santos. Both candidates supported the removal of former president Manuel Zelaya, who had violated Articles 373 and 374 of the Honduran Constitution and forfeited his office by attempting to arrange a second term for himself. Zelaya had called for a boycott of the election, and predicted that an abstention rate of over 50% would make the election illegitimate. As it turned out, 61% of enrolled voters cast ballots–an increase from the 2005 presidential election (which Zelaya won with 49.9%), and in which only 53% of enrolled voters had participated. In the 2001 election, participation was 64%; in 1997 it was 72%, and in 1993 it was 65%.

Although Zelaya had won on the Partido Liberal line, his attempt to entrench himself in office made him anathema to the vast majority of Partido Liberal legislators.

Update: Since some readers were apparently unclear about what I meant by “decisive win for democracy,” I meant that a solid majority of Hondurans repudiated by Zelaya by going to the polls to vote overwhelmingly for two candidates who both repudiated Zelaya’s efforts to destroy the Constitution. Which of the two of those candidates got the most votes was irrelevant to the fact that democracy itself triumphed.

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