8:30 P.M. EST: The National Lawyers Guild International Committee has released the following statement:
The National Lawyers Guild, with a delegation of 17 members who observed Sunday’s elections in Honduras, will be issuing a press statement tomorrow. In advance of that statement, the NLG International Committee wants to alert our members and other interested parties that US media and government reports of a free, fair and transparent election in Honduras are premature and inappropriate. Such unsupported claims will only exacerbate tensions in a country that recently suffered a coup, followed by massive attacks on human rights defenders, opposition party candidates and activists that continue to this moment.
Honduras has a flawed electoral system with many deficiencies including control of the process by political parties, unregulated and undisclosed campaign financing, and inadequate resources, training and voting facilities that disadvantage poor communities. In addition Honduran electoral law provides for no run-off election. Without a runoff election in which a majority of voters choose leadership, the electoral aspirations of two-thirds of Honduran voters who voted for change, are frustrated, and the winner of a mere plurality is denied a real mandate.
The NLG will issue a press statement tomorrow to be followed by the delegation’s comprehensive report.