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OAS Begins Investigation Into Honduran Electoral Council

Washington, December 13 (RHC)-- A complete investigation of the Honduran Supreme Electoral Tribunal, TSE, is underway, according to an announcement by the Organization of the American States, the OAS. 

"They started with the entire system audit, they have requested additional information from the server and all cooperation is being provided,” said TSE chief David Matamoros Batson, who delivered the first of six reports requested by the OAS. 

The electoral chief explained that the document was a digitized list of names of the Receiving Electoral Tables members and was being reviewed by personnel from the Department of Information Technology.  He added that the electoral delegation should have the official statement ready by December 23rd, although the assembly has until December 26th, according to the 30 days permitted by law. 

During a press conference, former President Manuel Zelaya presented a report, denouncing the recount as fraudulent by comparing electoral statistics presented by both sides.  The final difference failed to match, leading the Opposition Alliance to believe the TSE may have manipulated the votes. 
Opposition Alliance presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla denounced alleged TSE corruption, calling for authorities to shut down the institution while demanding a complete review of the 18,128 ballots, including both the votes and booklets. 

Nasralla called TSE authorities “thieves” and said he wouldn’t be surprised if they hadn’t already “burned the booklets.”  He explained that according to Electoral Article 173, if the number of null votes is greater than the margin between the two main candidates, a complete review of the process must be made. 

According to the results of the TSE, the margin of difference between Nasralla and Hernandez is 50,428 votes, while the nulls are 134,207.  He added that if the electoral body were to count all 18,182 votes, booklets and ballots, it would show that he had won the election. 

Since the November elections, demonstrations have erupted across the nation, calling for a transparent process.  There have been 16 deaths and more than 620 people have been injured since the protests began, according to human rights defender Tomas Andino.  Dozens have also been arrested. 

Human Rights Watch, HRW, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and the United Nations have spoken out, demanding authorities respect the right of Hondurans to protest peacefully. 

HRW Director to the Americas Jose Miguel Vivanco said: “There are strong indications of electoral fraud in Honduras, and these signs must be investigated and the will of the voters must be respected." 

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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