Honduras’s presidential election: Mano dura wins the day

WHEN Juan Orlando Hernández (pictured), the winner of Honduras’s presidential election of November 24th, was involved in a minor helicopter crash eight days before, he clambered out, fell to his knees and thanked God for saving his life. Since then, the 45-year-old right-winger who grew up in a rural family of 17 children has done his best to show that he is the chosen one. “The voice of the people is God’s voice,” he claimed, defending a victory his main opponent disputed.Mr Hernández, who is reputed to be an adept political operator, badly needs a deus ex machina to help him when he is formally declared president-elect of a country that had the world’s highest murder rate last year (about 20 Hondurans are killed each day). The election marked the fragmentation of what was a stable two-party system, in which Mr Hernández’s conservative National Party alternated in power with the slightly less conservative Liberals. That cosy arrangement began to crack in 2009 when Manuel Zelaya, a Liberal who had embraced Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, was overthrown in a coup.With 80% of the count complete, Mr Hernández had won only 36% of the vote, well...

 
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