The Top Three Candidates in Honduras’ Elections

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The Top Three Candidates in Honduras’ Elections

On Sunday, thirteen contenders will compete in Honduras’ razor-thin presidential election to succeed scandal-plagued Juan Orlando Hernandez.

The top three challengers are profiled briefly below.

Xiomara Castro never intended to run for president, but she now has a strong chance of becoming her country’s first female leader.

She was first lady in 2009, when her husband, Manuel Zelaya, was toppled in a coup backed by the military, business elites, and the political right.

She created a name for herself by leading enormous public protests against the coup, and from there she rose to become a presidential candidate.

Her popularity originates from her support of the disadvantaged. She is tough but soft-spoken.

However, in a society that is strongly traditional and macho, she has the dual challenges of opponents labeling her a communist and a stooge for her husband.

“The shadow of Zelaya hangs over her, and it can be presumed that Zelaya is the power behind the throne in Honduran culture,” sociologist Eugenio Castro told AFP.

Her proposals to legalize abortion and same-sex marriage, both sensitive issues in much of Central America, have also been attacked by the ruling party.

The 62-year-old, who is frequently seen wearing denim jeans and a white cowboy hat, insists on standing for “Honduran-style democratic socialism” and has tried to distinguish herself from the communist models in Cuba and Venezuela, which have alarmed many voters.

Castro, who was an unsuccessful candidate in 2013, losing to Hernandez by a razor-thin margin, has some heavyweight support this time, not least in the form of Salvador Nasralla, a television host who lost to Hernandez in 2017 amid allegations of fraud.

Castro was born into a Catholic middle-class family and married Zelaya when he was only 16 years old. They have four children together.

According to Zelaya, the children’s blood is a mix of Spanish, Basque, indigenous, Arab, and Senegalese.

Nasry Asfura, who is tall, thin, and always dressed in jeans, a long-sleeved blue shirt, and agricultural boots, wants to portray himself as a rural worker who is allergic to offices.

The current mayor of Tegucigalpa, 63 years old and of Palestinian heritage, is a candidate for the ruling right-wing National Party (PN).

With it comes the benefit of the political machinery that has maintained the PN in power for the past decade years, as well as the stigma of being associated to drug trafficking and corruption.

“I’ve never sat in my town hall office for a single day; every day, I walk out into the streets to serve and observe where the problems are,” he stated. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.

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