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Conservative Hernandez leading Honduras presidential race: official

25 november 2013, 10:07
0
Conservative Juan Orlando Hernandez was leading in Honduras's presidential vote Sunday, garnering 34.97 percent of the vote, AFP reports citing the electoral board.

With 24 percent of ballots tallied, he was trailed by leftist Xiomara Castro, with 28.36 percent, the board said, stressing that no winner had been declared. Still, Castro claimed victory in what was expected to be a close finish in the poverty-stricken Central American nation.

"We are not making a statement on who may win, nor have we declared a winner; still, these are real data," council chief David Matamoros said.

His remarks came minutes after Castro, who would be Honduras' first woman president, declared herself to have won, even as an exit poll showed Hernandez taking the top job.

The field of nine's leading candidates are Castro, the leftist wife of ousted former president Manuel Zelaya, and Hernandez.

Matamoros earlier voiced hope the vote would "heal the wounds" of the 2009 coup d'etat that toppled Zelaya.

The candidates are vying to succeed President Porfirio Lobo, who was elected after the coup in a controversial election boycotted by Zelaya's leftist allies

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