Honduran opposition unites behind candidate for president, in main shift

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TEGUCIGALPA, Oct 13 (Reuters) – The prime Honduran opposition events on Wednesday united behind Xiomara Castro as their candidate for a November presidential election, giving the spouse of a leftist former president who was ousted in a coup a stronger likelihood of ousting the ruling celebration.

The National Opposition Union (UNO) celebration backed Castro, 62, spouse of former president Manuel Zelaya and candidate for the Liberty and Refoundation (Libre) celebration for the Nov. 28 race, celebration representatives stated.

Castro, who says she is going to set up diplomatic relations with China and legalize abortion in some conditions, could be Honduras’ first girl president.

The alliance shakes up the presidential race and presents a severe problem to President Juan Orlando Hernandez’s National Party, in energy since elections after Zelaya was ousted in a cold army coup in 2009. Until now, the National Party has been main in polls.

“If we don’t come together today, the country will lose. Together, nobody can beat us,” UNO’s earlier candidate, tv presenter Salvador Nasralla, 68, informed a information convention.

“We’re going to rescue Honduras from dictatorship with Xiomara Castro as presidential candidate.”

A CID-Gallup ballot final month confirmed that every candidate had acquired 18% help. Nasry Asfura, mayor of the capital Tegucigalpa and candidate of the ruling National Party, led with 21%.

Castro has stated she goals to higher handle Honduras’ exterior and inside debt that stands at some $13 billion and decriminalize abortion in circumstances of rape, threat to the mom’s life and a malformed fetus.

Honduras is likely one of the few international locations globally that acknowledges Taiwan’s independence, and a swap in allegiance to Beijing would upset Washington.

Nasralla, a preferred tv host and sports activities commentator, led an opposition alliance in 2017 as presidential candidate, and was narrowly defeated by Hernandez in a course of riddled with accusations of fraud.

Hernandez’s eight years in energy have been mired by corruption allegations, which Hernandez has denied. In the United States, prosecutors have accused him of working with drug traffickers to maneuver cocaine into the United States, allegations he additionally denies.

Asfura, a conservative building businessman and two-term mayor of Tegucigalpa is backed by Hernandez. He has confronted prices of fraud, embezzlement of public funds and cash laundering. The prices have been dismissed by a prison court docket.

Reporting by Gustavo Palencia, Writing by Daina Beth Solomon
Editing by Alistair Bell

Xiomara Castro, presidential candidate and a wife of a former president Manuel Zelaya, speaks during an event where the Honduran opposition parties decided to support her as their candidate for a November presidential election, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Fredy Rodriguez

Xiomara Castro, presidential candidate for the opposition Libre Party, addresses supporters during a rally to present her campaign program ahead of the November 28 election, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras September 5, 2021. REUTERS/Fredy Rodriguez

Xiomara Castro, presidential candidate and a wife of a former president Manuel Zelaya, speaks during an event where the Honduran opposition parties decided to support her as their candidate for a November presidential election, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Fredy Rodriguez